Packaging for Meal Kit Delivery Subscriptions

In recent years, meal kit delivery services have taken the nation by storm. These convenient subscription models allow consumers to order the food they want online and have it delivered right to their door. Once the package arrives, all the buyer has to do is open it up and follow simple instructions to make a fresh and tasty meal. This means that busy individuals don’t need to worry about meal planning, grocery shopping, complicated food prepping, or spending way too much on takeout. Meal kit subscription kits have become very popular in the United States over the past few years, which means that it’s necessary to analyze the packaging used to ship them all over the country. What kind of packaging is used and what impact does it have on the people who use it, as well as the world around us? 

The Monetary and Social Impacts of Meal Subscription Kits 

According to a 2017 report from Packaged Facts, the entire global meal kit market was worth $5 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach an incredible $12 billion by the year 2022. With this amount of money flowing through the industry, we need to examine what type of consumer is doing the actual spending. Thankfully, that answer is pretty common sense. The people who subscribe to regular meal kit deliveries tend to be either busy working parents who enjoy the convenience and time savings, as well as young working professionals who may not know how to cook taking advantage of the price and fresh food. With the knowledge that younger adults are the primary demographic for these services, it’s easier to understand what kind of materials should be used – both for the food itself and the packaging that contains it. 

What Meal Kit Packaging Must Achieve 

Though it may seem fairly obvious, there are a few key things that must be performed by meal kit packaging. Above all else, this packaging material must keep the food it holds fresh and uncontaminated. It must guarantee that the edible goods arrive to the end user without spilling or leaking and must prevent any cross contamination from exposure to oxygen, moisture, and other harmful exterior pollutants. Should a customer eat contaminated food from a meal delivery kit, they could become very sick. Should they choose not to eat it, they’ll expect a full refund and very likely discontinue their subscription. In fact, one report showed that 80% of people who use a subscription service would cancel that subscription if they think the packaging is bad or faulty. 

Sustainable Packaging for Meal Kits 

A major trend that’s been seen across all industries and all kinds of packaging is sustainability. More than ever before, people around the globe, and especially younger generations, are passionate about using sustainable, environmentally friendly products and buying from ecologically conscious brands. Meal kit subscription services are certainly no exception. Though food must be meticulously packaged to prevent contamination, there are a number of ways to use sustainable materials. Meal kit creators and retailers can ship their products in recyclable boxes made from recycled materials, use renewable energy sources during the manufacturing process, and use non-toxic packaging components that can be composted after the buyer is done using them.  

Easily Accessible Packaging Supplies 

Packaging and shipping meal kits safely, securely, and sustainably is easier than some may think. There are a few supplies that nearly any kit will need and they are all cost-effective and easy to find. Corrugated boxes work excellently as the exterior shipping container. They take up very little storage space at your facility, can be made of recycled materials, and can be recycled once again by the consumer. Additionally, it’s simple to place an insulated shipper inside a corrugated box. Insulated shippers are generally made of foam and, when paired with freezer packs, do a great job keeping food and other edible goods cold for the duration of the transit process. Finally, reclosable poly bags are an excellent way to package small portions. Place seasonings, spices, and more inside these durable plastic bags to prevent spills and leaks.  

Give Consumers What They Want and Need 

Meal kit delivery subscriptions are an increasingly popular way for many people to feed themselves and their families. They are oftentimes less expensive than takeout or restaurant dining and make cooking quick and convenient for those that use them. Effective, sustainable packaging is a necessary aspect of maintaining this all-important convenience for consumers and will help to create loyal and lifelong buyers.