Retail

Subscription Commerce Increases Cost Of Meals

While trendy meal kit options from services such as Blue Apron or Plated may be attractive, a new study by NPD finds that the convenience of that factor may actually be more expensive.

A new survey from NPD tells us that an average meal kit on demand costs about $10 to $12. Heading to the grocery store and purchasing those same ingredients a la carte, however, would cost about half that amount, states NPD.

Is that a bargain for you?

Well, it probably depends on who you are and where you live …

Darren Seifer, Executive Director at the NPD group, echoed these thoughts recently, when he said Plated was more convenient for him than shopping for groceries in New York City, but reiterated that these “plated meals really belong to what exactly type of culinary experience you are looking for.”

“One of the most interesting findings was that the majority of users said had they not prepared a meal from the kit they would have made another meal from their homes,” Seifer said. “In other words, meal kits are mostly replacing meals from the home but at higher prices.”

As noted in PYMNTS’ Uber of X tracker, similar services have struggled to ignite. In April, on-demand meal kit service Kitchit closed down after finding itself unable to raise new funds.

“Less capitalized peers have fared worse. SpoonRocket, Dinner Lab, and most recently Kitchensurfing, at times our closest rival, have all failed to garner sufficient investment to extend their work. Today Kitchit joins their ranks,” a statement on the company’s site read.

As mentioned in the above quotes, SpoonRocket, Dinner Lab and Kitchensurfing were all meal on-demand platforms that allowed customers to order a hot and ready to go pre-cooked, home-cooked meal (as opposed to a meal from a restaurant). Two out of three all folded for lack of funding.

SpoonRocket was the exception. Though it initially announced its bankruptcy after being unable to raise additional funds or find a buyer, the firm pulled off a last-minute deal with Brazilian firm iFood.

And while there still remains plenty of buzz surrounding meal kits on demand, the jury is still out on the appropriate price tag for convenience.

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