Next week we’ll talk about adapting this concept to your local area.
Have you seen the current food rage? Meal kits in a box, delivered to your door from far off businesses with names such as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Green Blender, and Peach Dish.
Now that we have this mailed-to-your-door convenience, why should anyone bother thinking about a menu, making a shopping list, trudging to the store, fighting the crowds, dragging groceries back home, then prepping a meal – all this before we even eat? And then we have to clean up when we’re finished! Makes no sense, right? Especially when we now have this meal-in-a-box alternative.
Why bother shopping and preparing your meals when there's a new easier way to plan, purchase, and fix dinner?
For those of you who haven’t seen the latest fad in food preparation, here’s an article from the New York Times, It’s Dinner in a Box. But Are Meal Delivery Kits Cooking?
“Some analysts say meal kits show classic signs of a bubble that may already be leaking air. They [analysts] make comparisons to the rise and fall of the grocery delivery service Webvan in the first wave of the tech boom, or meal assembly storefronts, where cooks pick recipes online and then show up to put together what are essentially fancy casseroles from precut ingredients. Such companies once opened at a rate of 40 a month in the early 2000s but have faded from view.”
Sometimes odd or unusual ideas take hold and turn from fad to long-term trend. It’s definitely too early for us to know. The Times article goes on to talk about past “new” innovations (frozen foods, microwaves, bagged lettuce) that initially appeared as fads but have become solid parts of our culture. With this new business idea, we’ll have to wait and see.
Overall, the meal kit delivery venture has received some good press. But positive press or not, my first concern is with the PR spin from respected, outspoken chefs and authors who are promoting this new business model. They might be more interested in encouraging the trend because of their own business possibilities, than with the long-term impact mail order meals have on our lifestyle and communities.
If you’re interested in this concept, think it through and document ideas in your business plan. Think about the cost for putting together this kind of venture. Who is your target market for buying mail-order meal kits? Think about the competition. It’s not just from businesses already in the game (plus new ones that will appear soon), it’s also the businesses adversely affected – businesses such as take-out shops and local supermarkets that will come up with their own in-store response to easy meals.
For businesses like yours: with a commitment to buying local, supporting other home-town businesses and local farmers; keeping a small footprint; and avoiding too much packaging; there can be ways for you to create a local version of meal delivery.
Home-Based Baking at its Best! Next week we’ll talk about some innovative ideas for creating your own meal delivery business.
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