Meal subscriptions services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh have steadily gained popularity in recent years. And there are no signs of them slowing down, according a recent study by FoodNavigator-USA. But meal subscription services are still relatively new to the marketplace. So how many consumers have actually tried using them? And how many are interested in trying them at some point in the future?
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 31% of respondents said that they’ve purchased food to make at home within the past day. 52% have done so within the past week. 8% have bought grocery items in the past month. 3% have bought some within the past three months. 2% have done so within the past year. Just 1% said it’s been over a year since they’ve purchased any grocery items. And 4% said they are not grocery consumers.
Unsurprisingly, 90% of respondents said that they normally purchase grocery items or ingredients from grocery stores. 12% said they go to specialty food stores. 11% buy groceries online. 4% said they use subscription or delivery services regularly. And 3% get groceries from other sources, such as farmers markets or discount stores.
Currently, just 4% of grocery consumers subscribe to multiple meal delivery services, where they can get all of the ingredients and recipes for specific meals. Another 5% said they subscribe to one such meal delivery service. 6% said they’ve used meal subscriptions in the past, but don’t anymore. And 86% have never tried them.
Blue Apron and Hello Fresh were the most popular services mentioned by respondents. But Plated, Graze and Omaha Steaks were also popular. In general, 49% of those who have tried meal delivery services said they’ve been at least somewhat satisfied with the experience. 23% have been unsatisfied with the experience. And 28% were neutral.
Looking forward, 15% of grocery consumers said that they would be likely to subscribe to a meal delivery service within the next year. Of those who have already tried meal subscription services, 52% said that they would be likely to subscribe to another service within the next year.
Overall, price, taste and quality seem to be the most important factors for grocery consumers when determining which items to buy. Just 3% rated convenience, which could be one of the biggest selling points for meal subscriptions, as their most important factor when considering grocery purchases. It was still rated higher than sustainability and brand name, but slightly behind nutritional value.
Meal subscription services like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh could very well be in for another year of growth. But in order to have the best chance of succeeding, those companies need to know where to focus their marketing efforts. For example, those who have already tried meal delivery services were more open than other consumers to trying more subscriptions in the coming year. So if those companies were to target people who have tried other services and weren’t overwhelmingly satisfied, they could have a better chance of gaining more subscribers. In addition, marketing those meal subscriptions as convenient could potentially be effective. But that route isn’t likely to catch as many consumers’ attention as using other factors like price, taste, quality and even nutritional value. So subscription services could mention those factors along with convenience in their marketing materials to appeal to even more potential subscribers.
You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.
What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.
Results were collected on June 17 via AYTM’s online survey panel.