Meal-kit startups eat up supermarket and restaurant profits

A new study from Cardlytics reveals that demand for businesses like HelloFresh and Gousto has increased by 64.6% in the last year

Meal-kit startups eat up supermarket and restaurant profits

It’s never been easier to expand your culinary horizons. Thanks to meal-kit startups that deliver both ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes, anyone can feel like Jamie Oliver without the having to think of what to make or go through the trouble of buying groceries. However, a new study from Cardlytics, the banking analytics and marketing company, has revealed that some business owners may not be hugely thrilled by the rise of these startups.

Having analysed data from 5.8 million banking customers, Cardlytics found that spending on recipe-kit services like HelloFresh and Gousto was 64.6% higher in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year. And given that these providers are rapidly expanding their services across the UK, it certainly seems as if this market is set to heat up even further.

And while this is splendid news for the entrepreneurs behind these enterprises, restaurants and supermarkets may not be so pleased. When it analysed the spending habits of 13,000 meal-kit customers, Cardlytics learned that they had spent 2.8% less on groceries and 2.2% less on eating out in the first six months of 2016 compared to the same period the previous year.

Commenting on the findings, Peter Gleason, president of international operations at Cardlytics, said: “It’s clear that today’s consumers are increasingly concerned about the freshness of food, ingredients and labels. But, above all, people are craving convenience. As new entrants invest heavily in strengthening on-demand propositions, it’s evident they are beginning to establish themselves as serious contenders to supermarkets and restaurants across the country. This presents a huge opportunity, both for established food retailers and new entrants that recognise the importance of adapting to their customers’ habits to build loyalty.”

Clearly, the way Brits shop for, prepare and eat their food is changing. The question is, will more traditional companies also move with the times or will disruptive new startups be taking a bigger slice of the pie?

Eric Johansson
Eric Johansson

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