The meal kit delivery industry is a hot trend that’s evolving at an impossibly fast rate. Once a reserve for pizzas, these days all kinds of meals can be easily delivered right to your doorstep. Most of the meals get ordered online and can be delivered in a wide variety of ways, from takeaway cyclists and delivery vans, to pavement droids and drones.
According to a study done by Morgan Stanley United States restaurant analysts, the food delivery industry has the opportunity to grow seven folds more than its’ current value of $30 billion, It’s dominating the market for those who crave simple and easy meal preparation, without sacrificing the quality or convenience. That said, let’s take a look at the top trends that will shape the meal delivery industry.
- Online Customers are Likely to Increase in Numbers
The meal delivery market is expected to significantly increase due to the increase in urban population, increased technological advancements, increase in expenditure of the middle class population, increased internet penetration, and increased smartphone usage. As a matter of fact, according to the CGA Peach, there has been a rise in the number of consumers who are using online ordering services; in the last 6 months, over 1/2 of restaurant goers opted for meal delivery services. The number of customers ordering meal delivery is expected to grow significantly in the next couple of years.
Another key factor that will increase the demand for online meal delivery services, is the rise in busy schedules especially for those in metropolitan cities. North America is expected to advance at the fastest rate, due to the presence of well-organized meal delivery service sector, continuous innovation, high economic growth and high urbanization rate.
- Changing Customer Preferences
Healthy snacking and spicy, exotic flavors are at the forefront for most of the consumer meal preferences today, and Millennials are frequently driving these choices with their rather adventurous palates. Likewise, the food delivery industry will continue to evolve, whilst keeping in mind the consumers’ wishes as a part of their meal making process. Staying up-to-date with these ever changing preferences will be very important for the success of meal delivery providers.
- Mergers and Acquisitions
Ian Branson, owner of weight loss meal delivery reviews site Fitij.com, says that many meal delivery providers are introducing healthier products and adding new product lines to their existing drinks and foods. Others are acquiring businesses which are producing the kind of foods and drinks they are looking for. In fact, many online meal delivery giants are trying to position their delivery services by acquiring startups in the market. These acquisitions and mergers are indicative of just how the meal delivery industry market is evolving.
- Food Sustainability
Today, more and more consumers, especially Millennials, are making their food choices based on how and where their meals are made, and by whom. They want to know if the food producers are green, control water consumption, use various alternative energies like solar power, charitable with surplus food, reduce wasteful packaging and so on. While such sustainable measures may be somewhat costly, meal delivery services must try to leverage the efficient energy systems and also be aware of various cost saving tax credits, such as food donation deductions, so as to help offset some of the costs.
- Technology Will Continue Propelling the Industry Forward
All kinds of businesses are getting impacted by the ever growing technological changes, and the meal/food delivery industry is no different. With modern customers’ digital expectations, along with fierce competition in the industry, creative and innovative use of technology will be a major driving force in the delivery industry. The NRA (abbreviation for, National Restaurant Association) actually found that 35% of consumers opt for meal delivery services more frequently when the technology makes it more accessible to do so.
In the last few years, technology has transformed everything from ordering food, pick up, and meal delivery. As such, an increasing number of companies are investing in the latest technologies such as mobile apps, droid based delivery, drones and online ordering so as to entice customers. It is expected that the year 2017 will bring even more innovations which will help meal delivery brands to make a significant growth. Currently, there’s digital transformation in some companies such as Domino’s, which has a robot named ‘Domino’s Robotic Unit’ (abbreviated as DRU) which is an autonomous delivery vehicle that’s set to take the meal delivery space by storm.
- Convenience is Currency
Convenience is quickly becoming a top priority for consumers, especially when in regards to food. Millennials in particular are very keen on time and convenience as currency. Today, more and more customers want to get back their time with convenience, and the meal delivery service is rapidly revolutionizing the way we receive and consume meals. The meal delivery services promise convenience by basically eliminating the need to plan for meals, find the recipes, and then shop for groceries. According to research studies, 74% of Millennials prefer meal delivery services to preparing food from scratch. According to them, getting their time back via the convenience offered by the delivery services translates into cash.
- Competition Between In-house and Third Party Delivery services Will Increase
Over the past couple of years, there has been a rise in the number of third party delivery services. such as UberEats and Deliveroo which has disrupted the food/meal delivery service in the same way Airbnb and Uber shook up the traditional business models of hotels and taxi firms. However, with the arrival of a number of full service restaurants, the popularity of the 3rd party delivery services has decreased in certain places. Many food joints and restaurants are now opting for their own in house delivery services to compete with the rather popular 3rd party delivery services. If this trend continues to grow, 3rd party delivery services may need to rethink in future.