Retailers team up with meal kit services

Meal kits have taken off in recent years, with Cassandra finding that 30% of young adults have used one and another 24% are interested in trying one, as outsourcing household tasks like grocery shopping and meal planning frees them up to spend time on other priorities. To meet consumer interest, big brands are now taking on startups with meal kit services of their own.


Although recent studies suggest that consumers don’t stick with meal kit services, many grocery stores are betting on them as they recognize that consumers crave convenience. While many of these partnerships still require people to purchase the kits in stores, they still remove the hassle of planning a meal, picking out the individual ingredients, and determining portion sizes. Whole Foods is among the latest corporations to do so, having partnered with vegan meal kit service Purple Carrot to sell its boxes in select locations, beginning with its flagship in Dedham, Massachusetts, with plans to roll out the service across the North Atlantic region.


Earlier this month, Williams-Sonoma partnered with organic meal kit provider Sun Basket to sell subscriptions and gift packages via its website. The “dinner in a box” provides three meals a week for two, four, or six people that can be customized based on dietary needs, including paleo, gluten-free, or vegetarian. Through the partnership, new subscribers receive kitchen tools, including a garlic press and lemon juicer, and among their options each week, they can choose a kit with one of the top-rated recipes from Williams-Sonoma’s test kitchen. As young consumers admire big brands that partner with independent brands, these types of collaborations are only poised to grow. 


Amazon has become a bigger player in the grocery business as of late and is expected to sell $23.2 billion worth of grocery products by 2021. To accomplish this, it plans to open 2,000 physical stores, and it’s also entering into the meal delivery kit market by partnering with Tyson Foods on Tyson Taste Makers, a protein-centric line of chef-inspired kits that will be available for home delivery with AmazonFresh. The kits are intended to help people become more comfortable cooking meat themselves, as Tyson will pre-cut, trim, dry age, smoke, and marinate the meat so all that users have to do is cook it.