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Home Confinement a Boon to Meal Kit Suppliers


The need for home preparation of meals has provided an unexpected boost to providers of meal kits.  During past four quarters, intense competition both from independent companies and those affiliated to supermarket chains and restaurants have reduced margins with Blue Apron severely impacted. 


Monthly meal kits sales increased from approximately $75 million in February 2020 to $100 million in April according to Nielsen. In an article in the May 4th edition of The Wall Street Journal new entrants to meal kits include Shake Shack Inc., Chick-fil-A, Panera Bread and Denny’s.  Home Chef a subsidiary of Kroger Company is expanding capacity and claims to have tripled their new customer count over six weeks. Sunbasket has apparently doubled sales both from regulars and new consumers.  Recipe offerings are now limited to increase production to satisfy demand.


Blue Apron has rehired staff to expand sales achieving 376,000 users during the first quarter of 2020. This is only one-third of the peak achieved in 2017.  Increases in market share recorded by the major providers year to date include Hello Fresh at 93 percent, Home Chef, 89 percent, Sunbasket, 27 percent and industry laggard Blue Apron at 3 percent.