Could older consumers steal the Meal Kit business?

The Meal Kit business has been exploding since 2007 primarily among younger, time-sensitive consumers, but surely different benefits meet the needs of an older consumer too?

Estimated to soon be worth between $3 billion and $5 billion a Meal Kit service provides pre-portioned ingredients for a number of meals every week. The customer can then take the ingredients and the provided recipe and create a home cooked meal. Meals on average take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour for prep and cooking time.

Just about time?

Time-saving is touted as the core benefit of Meal Kits, but are they missing something?

Nielsen’s latest eBook on the subject titled; THE MEAL KIT OPPORTUNITY claims that time-strapped young consumers gravitate toward kits. But single, urban-dwelling Millennials aren’t the only ones buying kits. In-store meal kits index highly with people under 35 years old, unmarried, no children, living in urban, suburban and rural areas and young families.

And according to this article from Review Chatter, Millennials and Generation X consumers are 321% more likely to purchase meal kits than older generations. Also interesting is that men are 40% more likely to purchase kits than their female counterparts across all generations.

But perhaps the reason for this younger skew is because Meal Kits have been positioned as a ‘time-saver’?

Repositioning for growth

What would happen if this shifted to an offering of ‘convenient nutrition’? This may well unleash the power of the older dollar in a similar way that Uber and Lyft have been ‘re-purposed’ to meet the needs of older folks.

Some Meal-Kit businesses have already seen this opportunity;

Facebook was created for university students, now older consumers have become the fastest growing demographic of users. Uber and Lyft were not created with older consumers in mind, yet they have been repurposed to meet the needs of seniors.

Adaptations required

With the rise of ageing-in-place and the need to provide services in-home, I predict Meal Kits will become another service that will be repurposed by and for older consumers. But they will need to rethink all the touch-points of their customer journey to ensure there are no hurdles resulting from the natural decline in physical, sensory and cognitive abilities of these lucrative, older customers.

Our free AF (Age-Friendly) app is a good start.