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What is the appeal of delivery at-home meal-kits?

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I have some coupons and was doing some research to see if signing up for something like Hello Fresh is worth it.

From what I can tell doing my own research on pricing, and various articles I've read, the ingredients you receive costs roughly 2x the price (including shipping costs) vs if you just went to the grocery store and purchased them yourself. Additionally, you still have to prep and cook everything. So it really does not save you any time or convince either. Also not being able to pick the ingredients yourself/ i.e. not having eyes on your produce or meat, seems like a gamble on quality.

I am very much struggling to understand how exactly Hello Fresh is a $1Billion company. Who is it for? Not for people trying to save money, and not for people who are trying to save time. Who is the target market? I don't understand.

Perhaps Hello Fresh has been coasting on there always being more people willing to try it out for a little while.
But that is a resource that is guaranteed to run out.

It's for upper middle class. $300K/year households.

Most of these meal kit companies go under, and they have 1-2% retention rate.

I wonder what percentage of all subscription service customers are wealthy, forgetful, or super busy people who simply forgot they are paying for something every month?

A few years ago when my mum was going to get major surgery, she ordered Hello Fresh for the recovery period when she was going to be too weak to lift grocery bags herself. She had been lured by the marketing: a blogger she listened to had been sponsored by them.

But the service is still just for ingredients for two meals a day, and nothing more. So I still had to help go shop for the essentials for her, ... and then help her dispose of the ridiculous amounts of packaging. Every ingredient in its own wrapper. Oversized boxes with lots of paper for padding. Plus bags of ice to keep perishable items cool during transport. Very wasteful.

And you still had to cook it yourself. So there wasn't that much time and work saved in the end anyway.
And you didn't get any leftover ingredients that you could cook something else out of.

This was in northern Europe, and there might be regional variations to how they operate though.
I suppose that the Hello Fresh concept had been designed for the 'murrican suburban wastelands where you're otherwise expected to drive your oversized truck an hour to the oversized supermarket each week and buy a week's supply of food because there are no grocery stores within the "residential zone". Then I can definitely see how it would fill a hole in people's lives.
But everyone does not live in such an hellish environment, thankfully.


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