What is Meal Prep Business
The meal prep business is one of the most innovative businesses in the food industry. The key is the convenience for the customers to cook and enjoy homemade meals. The meal prep industry has emerged as a result of the customer’s need to minimize long hours of shopping for groceries after a hectic day at work. People today prefer healthy food, and a meal prep business makes it easier for customers to put all the fresh ingredients to create a masterpiece to curb their cravings and satiate their health-conscious routine.
A business that provides customers with well-proportioned ingredients along with recipes to prepare a restaurant-like meal at home is called a meal prep business. It is very popular with the younger generation as it saves time to go to the grocery store to collect the components to prepare a perfect dish. Also, it allows them to stay indoors and prepare healthy food with hygienic conditions. Many meal prep businesses also provide pre-prepared meals that only require reheating before consumption.
Current status of US Meal Prep Industry
The meal prep industry with its fresh ingredients and recipes has become the fastest growing industry in its niche. The Global market size of the meal kit industry was expected to reach USD 10.26 billion and by USD 12.73 billion by 2022. The Covid-19 pandemic has offered a major opportunity to this industry as most of the restaurants, hotels, and dine-out places were shut down. The meal prep industry has shown up as a one-stop solution for all players in the F&B ecosystem.
The industry is divided into two parts:
- Cook and Eat- comprise 61% of the US market share.
- Heat and Eat- comprise 39% of the US market share.
Latest Trends in US Meal Prep Industry
The meal prep industry has brought freshness to the food industry with its crisp and well-proportioned meal kits. It is the fastest-growing food industry in the United States. In 2017, the revenue generated by the industry was at 4.65 billion U.S. dollars, a tremendous rise of over 300 percent growth in comparison to the previous year. The industry is expected to reach the 11.6 billion dollars mark by 2022.
The meal-kit industry is known for the freshness of its ingredients and inculcating a healthy lifestyle among people although, one of the main concerns of this industry is food packaging. It is evident, plastic as a packaging material will hamper the nutritional value of the food. The food industry is getting more and more aware by the day due to clients’ inclination towards sustainability.
Special Diet Requirements
One of the main reasons people prefer the meal prep industry is because it makes following a diet easier. Nowadays having a fitness regime is very common, and diet is a major part of it. The diets are exclusive and take a lot of time to gather all the ingredients to make one. With a busy work schedule and long commuting hours, it is very difficult to find the time. A meal kit delivered at your doorstep gives a sense of relief to the customer.
Organic foods are getting very trendy by the day. From organic farms to organic kitchen gardens, people are leaving no room for an unhealthy lifestyle. Even grocery stores have a well-defined column for organic foods. These foods help in preserving ecosystems and bringing bio-diversity. Organic foods differ from region to region; it's not easy to accumulate all the desired organic foods.
Catering to different lifestyle choices is an important part of the meal prep industry. For instance, people preferring a vegan lifestyle will tend to include some exclusive ingredients to prepare their meals. A meal kit comes in handy in such a case.
Serving time increased
The latest trend in the meal kit industry is to provide all the meals instead of just dinner or lunch. The reason behind this evolution is that if people need to cook even one meal at home, the idea of saving time to shop doesn’t count. To curb this disadvantage, many meal kit delivery businesses have started providing meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hungry Roots increased its serving time and meals after 2017 for the same reasons.
Choice of pre-made meal
Meal kit delivery has become very popular these days, as all it needs is to cook the ingredients brought to your doorstep. But just in case you don’t have time to cook as well. In that case, the meal kit does not solve the purpose. Meal prep businesses are now providing pre-made meals as well. All you need to do is to select a particular meal from your desired chef available on the website and next, you know the meal is at your doorstep.
The trend of larger companies buying smaller ones is not specific to the meal prep industry, but as it is becoming common in this industry as well it only shows that the meal prep industry is on the rise and is one of the promising industries in the future.
The meal-prep business has enormous scope in the future. Profit margins of this industry are promising as compared to the restaurant industry. The revenue of the meal prep industry is expected to reach a mark of $19.92 billion by 2027, as per the California-based Grand View research. The industry held more than 50% share in 2020 and is expected to maintain its stature in the future.
Increased awareness regarding hygienic food.
Nowadays people are very particular about their eating habits. The level of hygiene and the quality of ingredients used is a major concern of today’s generation. The meal prep industry has come up with unique ideas to match these expectations. The proportioned fresh ingredients are delivered to the customer’s doorstep, allowing them to cook delicious meals at home.
Trying new recipes at the same cost.
The new gourmet-style meals are gaining popularity. The meal prep industry makes it possible to create such fancy dishes at home. Just add the ingredients delivered as per the recipe, and the dishes prepared are no less than a piece of art.
The millennial mindset
Today the millennials are more inclined towards doing everything themselves even when it comes to cooking in the kitchen. Their “I want to do” attitude is bringing a massive change in the food industry. Cooking exclusive meals at home and sharing them on social media is a huge trend and is expected to gain popularity in the coming times.
Time is money
A meal prep industry saves an enormous amount of time by bringing the cooking ingredients to customers’ doorstep. In today’s world time is a very precious entity. Customers need not go to grocery stores to buy ingredients or even go from one supermarket to another in search of exclusive ingredients. Meal kits are comprised of well-proportioned ingredients to give ease to your cooking.
Adds a creative touch to life
Cooking is like an art. A meal kit industry helps in adding flavor to the monotonous life of the customer. It gives a creative touch to their lives. It gives a chance to the customer to cook beautiful meals at home and give treats to his taste buds.
Cooking and dining at home is a well-accepted way of living, especially when it comes to the elderly people of the family. The meal-kit industry allows the customer to satiate his taste buds and also cook at home to enjoy some valuable family time. In this hectic life, family always takes a back seat. A meal prep industry is bonding lives by allowing people to give some dedicated time to their family, and there is nothing better than cooking for your family and having meals with them.
Challenges faced by Online meal prep Businesses along with solutions
With the passage of time customer choices have been shifting from dining out to home delivery services. Another aspect is that even with busy and hectic life schedules, customers prefer healthy and hygienic food. Meal-kit service is a blend of the above two aspects of evolving customer choices. Many challenges are faced while building an online meal prep business. Click here to know the things you need to consider while starting a meal prep business.
Role of Meal Prep Software / Streamline your meal prep and delivery business with Meal Prep Software
Helps streamline the process
A meal prep software helps streamline the entire process from receiving an order to choosing a chef as per the availability and finally delivering meals or meal kits to the customer’s doorstep. A meal prep software makes it an enjoyable experience that is hassle-free and easily manageable.
Easy to manage deliveries
Running a meal prep business without software to track deliveries and to manage communication between the vendor and the rider, along with notifying the customer becomes a huge responsibility. A meal prep software aids in managing components of the business to provide a convenient meal-kit ordering and delivery experience.
Use a single interface to manage your business
Managing an online meal prep software involves firstly managing the orders received from the customers, secondly managing the orders lined up for the chef, and finally, the delivery tasks to be performed by delivery partners. All these tasks are very much dependent on each other to make your meal prep business a success. A meal prep software synchronizes these tasks onto a single platform.
Avoid third party commissions
Relying on 3rd party multi-vendor applications might seem an easy way to increase visibility online, but gradually the commission these services cost you take away half of the profit earned. Having your meal prep software brings you in a position of control and provides better earnings.
Easy way to get chef’s onboard
Advertising for more customers or even for recruiting new chefs can be a tedious task. An online software simplifies it by providing a platform and increasing your reach multiple times.
Easy updates on the status of the order
Getting easy updates on the order is a very important benefit of online meal prep software. A customer who has ordered a meal kit or a pre-made meal is always looking for early delivery. Meal prep software provides all necessary notifications to the customer.
Must-have Features of Meal Prep Software
The Meal prep software has shown remarkable growth in the industry. The meal prep industry is showing promising results and is expected to gain a leading market share and continue to be on top charts over the foreseeable future. Some of the must-have features of the meal prep software are the recipe catalog, meal page, ordering meals, and many more.
The meal prep industry is the most trending and phenomenal industry. It is the healthy solution to all the queries of a health-conscious but immensely busy individual. The meal-kit industry is one of the few industries where health and profit go hand in hand. This is a very big reason the Gen Zers have welcomed it with open arms.