Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 9

COVID provided the category an
opportunity for revival at retail
BY EMILY PARK

A

t the beginning of 2020, meal kits were not
growing at the supermarket level as industry
experts had anticipated. Some retailers even
began to pull rolled out meal kit programs due to underperformance. But as 2020 ushered in change, the
potential of meal kit programs lit up with a spark.
The 52 weeks leading up to Jan. 4, 2020, only saw a
0.6% growth of meal kit sales at the retail level, according
to data released by Nielsen. Fast forward another 52
weeks to Jan. 2, 2021, and the meal kit category grew
by 18.7%.
" In the past, meal kits did not meet sales expectations,
with many retailers removing these offerings from their
portfolios, " noted Andrew Moberly, director of category
solutions for Stamford, Conn.-based private brand
innovation company Daymon, " this could be attributed
to the lack of variety, not clearly understanding the
needs of the consumer or lack of promotion across
marketing channels. "
To avoid making the same mistake twice, Moberly
suggested that retailers consider a variety of different
tactics to reach today's changing consumer.
The pandemic has resulted in the need for grocers
to reach a wider range of consumers with meal kits.
Previously, the target audience for meal kits was ages
34-44 with a household income over $100,000. But the
pandemic has led to all ages and incomes of consumers
cooking more from home and seeking out inspiration.
" With 60% of consumers expected to eat at home

more this year, it is important for retailers to provide
meal solutions for a range of consumers, " Moberly said,
" from busy families looking for no-prep meals to single
households looking to dip their toes into the cooking
experience. "
Moberly pointed out that retailers can help ensure
the success of their meal kits by using clear messaging
that educates shoppers on the types of kits and meal
solutions available to them.
" In-store merchandising should also be easily
accessible, visually appealing and clearly share the
benefits of the meal kits and the types of kits available, "
Moberly said. " Additionally, meal kits should be easy to
find on the e-commerce platform with clear details on
what's included and how many people each kit serves. "

Answering what's for dinner
Almost a year into the pandemic, what once felt like a
new and creative way to feed the family is feeling more
like a chore again to many consumers. A survey by meal
delivery service Sun Basket found that 55% of Americans
are feeling cooking fatigue, yet 60% of consumers plan
to continue eating most of their meals in the home.
Through meal kits programs, supermarket retailers
have an opportunity to help customers answer the tiring
question of 'what's for dinner?'
" We know that many of our customers are timestarved right now, and they are balancing very hectic
and unpredictable schedules with new and different

Loblaw offers meal kits through delivery, instore pickup
Since May 2020, Loblaw's
PC Chef's meal kit portfolio
has grown to over 70 meal kit
options available for next day
delivery, seven days a week.
Customer meal kit favorites
can also be picked up without a
pre-order at Loblaws, Zhers, and
select Real Canadian Superstore
and Shoppers Drug Mart stores.
" Meal solutions will continue
gaining traction, as consumers

seek to ease the mental load
associated with the daily
dinnertime dilemma, " said
Nick Kuriya, vice president
of meal solutions for
Brampton, Canada-based
Loblaw Companies. " Easing
the journey from inspiration
to fulfillment will be critical,
and the distinction between
grocery and foodservice will
likely continue to blur. "

The retailer's meal kit
service offers a variety of
serving sizes that can be
tailored for an individual up to
a family of six.
In September 2020,
Loblaw teamed up with local
restaurants to offer meal
kits that guide customers
in re-creating their favorite
restaurant dishes using meal
kits made by the restaurant in

supermarketperimeter.com

the comfort of their homes.
" Local restaurants are vital
parts of our community and
serve a key role in feeding
Canadians, " said Kuriya.
" Support for local businesses
across Canada throughout
the pandemic has been on the
minds of many Canadians and
many restaurants were forced
to pivot as they shut their
doors in March.

FEBRUARY 2021 - 9


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Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021

Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - February 2021 - 4
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