Meal kit deliveries provide new route to market for Scottish suppliers

Giving the busy Scottish consumer a package of flavoursome and healthy ingredients presents growth opportunities for Scotland’s food and drink sector.

With less time to plan, shop and prepare food, meal kits offer something the consumer wants - a product that bridges the gap between home-cooked meals and takeaway food.

Meal kits are already popular in the home delivery service sector, and now they're making their way onto supermarket shelves. This opens up the market to Scottish food producers and manufacturers.

The happy healthy home chef

Simple meal preparation, without the need to sacrifice quality or convenience, is appealing to the modern consumer. Time-poor customers are choosing meal kits because they offer quick, cooking-from-scratch solutions.

Meal kits let the home chef cook healthy and complex meals, by including fresh, pre-portioned ingredients with easy to follow recipes.

HelloFresh leads the meal kit market

The German start-up, HelloFresh, founded in 2011, has seen a rapid growth of its meal kit home delivery system, across Europe and the US. And this success has seen other meal kit companies come into the market.

Gousto and Mindful Chef in the UK, are currently investing in expanding and improving their businesses to compete with HelloFresh.

Machine learning powers Gousto’s meal kit business

Gousto has invested in machine learning automation capabilities to personalise its recipe recommendation service to individual customer interests and needs.

The company has set a target to serve up 400 million home-cooked meals by 2025. It’s already achieved 170% year-on-year growth, and delivered over 1.5 million meals a month to customers in 2018.

Mindful Chef dominates healthy food kits

Mindful Chef differentiates itself from its competitors with a focus on healthy meals. It offers nutritionally balanced and gluten-free meal kits, by using fresh and sustainable ingredients.

The company grew by 178% year-on-year in 2018, by delivering nearly two million meals to UK homes.

Gobble takes aim at the quick-fix meal kit market

Gobble is more interested in giving its customers a speedy service. Its chefs have prepared its boxes so cooking-from-scratch takes under 15 minutes.

Focusing on a particular USP is a way to get a competitive edge in a sector that is growing quickly. As does allowing total flexibility to customers when it comes to how and when they use your service.

Retailers muscle in on meal kit popularity

Several retailers have taken note of the growth in the meal kit sector and have launched their own. In-store meal kit boxes benefit from ready-made shelf space and footfall, while being able to offer a product without a subscription service.

In the US, Walmart and Kroger have both launched a range of meal kits in-store and for home delivery. While last year, HelloFresh secured its UK licence to supply Sainsbury's with five meal kits. And Simply Cook followed HelloFresh into Sainsbury's with six recipe boxes.

Morrisons launched its own meal kit delivery service called ‘Eat Fresh’ last year. And Ocado launched an app and website, developed by London-based delivery service, Home Run, that recommends personalised recipes and automatically compiles ingredients into a basket for Ocado user accounts.

Ocado’s strategy is to minimise costs and waste as much as possible by generating seven-day plans that ensure spare ingredients from one meal are used for another.

Innovation support for Scottish food and drink companies

Meal kits offer convenient meals with 'transparent' ingredients, that can easily be prepared at home, with a step-by-step guide. This winning formula presents great potential for Scottish food manufacturers and producers. And we can help you grow into this market.

If you want to understand more about the potential of meal kits, get in contact with our Make Innovation Happen team.

Make Innovation Happen is a single source of innovation support for businesses involved in the Scottish food and drink supply chain.

Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise work in partnership across academia, the public sector and the industry to deliver a comprehensive innovation support service.

Make Innovation Happen can help your business by providing:

  • Access to 'connectors', who can offer support, advice and mentoring, as well as direction to appropriate support
  • Ideas and insights on how to innovate through articles and events
  • Funding through the Collaborative Innovation Fund
  • Help to access other innovation services provided by Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Interface and others



Looking for innovation support?

Our Make Innovation Happen service can help you improve employee, product and process productivity.