Canadians are Solving the Nightly Dinner Dilemma With Meal Kits; a Booming Business

"obsessed with convenience" fewer shoppers are showing up at the grocery store

The meal-kit business is among the fastest-growing food segments in the Canadian marketplace. Think about how many times you’ve seen a post showing a friend or neighbour un-boxing their dinner. Business is good for the HelloFresh, GoodFood and Chefs Plate’s of the world but not so much for the grocery chains.

Fewer shoppers are showing up at the grocery store

A new research report out Wednesday by the NDP Group says the meal kit industry in Canada has roughly doubled since 2014 and is expected to exceed $400 million in the next year. NPD’s Industry Advisor, Robert Carter says “the meal kit category has been a true emerging and disruptive segment.”

“The awareness of meal kits and the adoption rate of usage continues to grow as Canadians seek more convenient meal solutions and this is driving the overall growth of this segment” said Carter in a statement.

Professor in Food Distribution and Policy at Dalhousie University Sylvain Charlebois says the ready-to-cook segment is now worth almost $200 million in Canada.

Hectic households propel boom

The research suggest the first users of meal-kits were busy households with children. The underlying reason is almost always convenience. While 13 per cent of Canadians have used meal kits, 3 out of 5 meal kit users (62 per cent) are male.

Consumers are becoming “obsessed with convenience”

Charlebois suggests in a recent article in Retail Insider, that our “obsession with convenience” is having a dramatic impact on shopping patterns at the big Canadian grocery chains.

“Supermarket and grocery store sales decreased 3.1%, in a single month. Food retail sales dropped by $221 million in May.” 

Charlebois says supermarket and grocery store sales have decreased 3.1 per cent in a single month and food retail sales dropped by $221 million in May – which is enough to force the shutdown of “almost 30 decent-sized stores and put nearly 2,000 people out of work”.