The war for meal kit shoppers is heating up

  • News
  • July 17, 2017
  • Sarah Dunn
The war for meal kit shoppers is heating up

New Zealanders seem to be warming to the various meal kits on offer and the segment is becoming more complex. New World’s ‘Just Cook It’ meal kit pilot has been successful enough to see it rolled out to a wider range of Auckland stores, while dominant player My Food Bag has launched its first range of heat and eat meals.

New World’s Just Cook It meal kits have been available since February at New World Eastridge, Stonefields and Howick in Auckland, and Wellington’s Thorndon store. They’re prepared fresh in-store daily with pre-measured ingredients, and are sold in the chilled foods section. The options available change each week.

They come with recipe cards and prices start at $22.99 for a two-person serving.

Foodstuffs South Island is trialling a similar kit called Love Food Box.

“Just Cook it was born out of the desire to make dinnertime easy for time-poor Kiwis,” says group general manager marketing, Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd Steve Bayliss. “The kits have proven popular so far, particularly when we promote them to local customers through social media.”

New World Mt Roskill will be next to see the kits in mid-July, followed by the refurbished Mt Albert store. The new Fresh Collective by New World store on Alberton Ave will also stock them when it opens in late August.

Bayliss says he hopes to see the kits rolled out to stores in other parts of the country soon.

The kits were developed in response to in-house research Foodstuffs carried out on 2,478 household shoppers. A parallel survey was carried out with 1,756 Foodstuffs panel members.

“What the research shows is that there are changing pressures that are reshaping how New Zealanders organise their lives and shop – specifically how they plan, purchase, prepare and eat dinner,” Bayliss says.

He says shoppers’ dinner planning is becoming increasingly spontaneous as their busy lives get in the way. Those feeling the pain most are people aged 25-34 with young families in middle-income households.

More than half of the respondents surveyed told Foodstuffs they had an “unstructured” dinner-planning approach, with only 26 percent reporting that they knew what they were having for dinner at the start of the day.

Of the 74 percent of shoppers who decided their dinner on the day, 40 percent decide before 2pm; 32 percent decide between 2-5pm, and 29 percent decide after 5pm. Foodstuffs reports that 13 percent of shoppers will shop for their dinner on the day, with 6 percent doing this as part of a top-up shop and 7 percent solely seeking their evening meal.

My Food Bag celebrated its four-year anniversary in April, and surpassed $100 million in annual revenue at around the same time. It launched a bargain brand extension a year ago, and recently launched a weight-loss-focused brand called Fresh Start.

It released its first range of heat and eat meals, ‘From My Kitchen by Nadia’, last week. The Herald reported that the family-sized meals are priced at $39.99 with four servings available, and two different meals are available each week.

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