Retail

Serving Up A Competitive Offering In The Crowded Meal Kit Market

food

For a consumer who wants to cook at home, but doesn’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time preparing for that process, there are no shortage of options on the market. The meal kit space has been crowded with an unending hit parade of “dinner delivered in a box” options for consumers served up by a host of startups, established brands and even celebrities looking to cash in on the trend. There are boxes for vegetarians, vegans, keto lovers, paleo eaters, gluten-free consumers, diabetics and organic shoppers among many, many others.

The challenge in the world of online grocery/meal kit services is finding a way to stand out in a field where there are scores of competitors of varying sizes. It would seem like a smaller service would be perennially at a disadvantage. But for Montreal-based Goodfood, being a relatively small fish in a big pond full of sharks has advantages — it allows the firm to build a more intimate relationship with its customers.

It is why, according to a spokesperson Goodfood was recently named Canada’s  Most Trusted Meal Kit Delivery Service.

“Over the past few years, we have placed significant effort in building market leading brand name recognition across Canada through our marketing campaigns and by providing our members with a strong value proposition that features delicious, affordable and easy-to-prepare meal solutions,” the company said.

Goodfood boxes are big in Canada, though relatively unknown outside its home nation. But within that market the company has built a sizable presence, recently announcing an active subscriber base of 200,000 monthly customers. Blue Apron, by comparison, has about 750 thousand subscribers, while HelloFresh (the ranking global giant in the game) has a global customer base of about 1.45 million.

“We are thrilled to have sustained solid customer acquisition momentum during the summer and to finish the year with 200,000 active members. The new subscriber traction was driven by ongoing strong demand across the country, continuous success of our most recent meal plans, and also by new breakfast-only subscribers,” Goodfood Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ferrari said in a statement.

Pricing for the service varies with the type of box a customer favors. The least expensive option offers food at C$7.50 per serving serving, the family offering runs C$5.85 and the “classic” (featuring more exotic ingredients) runs C$8.50. The average customer, according ot the firm, orders three meals a week for either two or four people. The per meal cost, according to Goodfood, is supposed to run close to what a customer could expect to pay to buy the same ingredients from a grocery store — though going to the store lacks the convenience of grocery on delivery and the built-in recipes.

And those recipes, according to most consumer reviews, remain the most popular part of the box, because of how complete they are.

More than a list of ingredients with prep instructions and measurements, a Goodfood recipe is something like a dossier that doesn’t just want to show a customer how to cook something, but also explain what it is in the box. Each recipe leads with an explanation of why it was included in a customer’s box, and offers an overview of the dish including further explanations of unusual or exotic ingredients.

Customers are sent their recipe lists ahead of time — if they don’t like what they read, they are free to skip a meal or swap it out for something they find more palatable.

And though Goodfood is content to dedicate itself to its ongoing mission of changing the way Canadians eat — as opposed to trying to take on the world — the firm is still interested in growth. Goodfood has already noted plans to expand its marketing allocation and find news ways to offer discounts and incentives to customers.

“As we enter our new fiscal year, we realize more than ever that consumer habits are evolving quickly, as such, we strongly believe that Goodfood is uniquely positioned to change the way Canadians do their groceries forever,” CEO Ferrari said.

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