The meal kit market (or home delivery service) is becoming increasingly competitive but the challenges faced by companies based in dry continents, who sell perishable products, still exist, and are a constant challenge. The key is to find better and more sustainable solutions to maintain the quality and service which, ultimately, could set the home delivery meal kit market apart from one another.
The home delivery meal-kit or meal delivery market has grown significantly and continues to gain traction, with more and more options available to customers - whether you are looking for pre-packed lunches, weight-loss meals, high protein meals aimed at those in the fitness arena, heat and eat dinners, around the world flavour meal kits such as Indian or Asian meals, food bags with all the raw ingredients for you to cook at home and even baking and dessert meal kit options. A variety of home delivery meals are available to pretty much anyone, including parents, foodies, fitness fanatics, the calorie counters', the elderly, vegetarians, the keen bakers out there and more - Hello Fresh, Light 'n Easy, Eat Fit Food, Muscle Meals Direct, The Cook's Grocer, My Food Bag, Dish'd, Youfoodz, Gourmet Dinner Service, Dinner Ladies, Fit & Fresh, Dietlicious, Marley Spoon and more.
As Huffington Post said; "You’ve walked through the door after a full day at work. Chances are you're probably not going to jump ecstatically into the kitchen, finely dice vegetables with a flourish and create freshly-made mushroom gnocchi with walnut pesto. (If you do, please share your ways). Although a quick pasta sauce or instant noodles might cut it sometimes, having a nutritious dinner is important, which makes it difficult when you're less keen on the kitchen and more keen to be on the couch, in your comfies, with your favourite show. One great option for busy, time-poor people is meal delivery."
What are some of the biggest challenges which Australian companies in the meal kit market face?
1. The obvious challenge - shipping a perishable product across a predominantly dry continent while maintaining product quality.
2. Expectation: making sure that the customer is more than happy with their delivery. With a subscription business, the challenge is to maintain a long-term customer, not just for a one-off or subscription for a week or two - so each and every delivery must be perfect.
3. Convenience - the reason why customers are flocking towards home delivery meal kit services is predominantly for convenience. If meals are not delivered fresh and on time, then the business will lose value and possibly loyalty.
There are ways in which some of the hurdles can be overcome or at least softened.
Increasing efficiency on-site by ensuring that all touch-points on the product journey is efficient and quick. Paying for staff hours where areas of their day is spent waiting for doors to open and close is purely costing the business money and creating pockets of time where another activity or task could be completed.
Some ways in which companies can achieve this, within the perishable market, is to review the whole process of the product journey - where is time being consumed, where are staff waiting for the next task or being held up? Rapid Doors open at a speed of up to 2m per second which is quite significant when you think about how often doors open and close per day and if you could potentially halve the amount of time spent waiting for doors to open/close. Standard roller shutter, may open at only 0.2m/sec . . . that means that a Rapid Door could be 10 times faster!
Doorways are an obvious place to start increasing efficiency. Are you losing energy through your doorways'; are deliveries waiting for doors to fully open and if they are slow, how much energy is being lost through the open doorway before they fully close?
Are your doorways being left open unnecessarily? Movidor High Speed Rapid Doors are a fast and efficient option which are fitted with sensors / thermal properties and LED traffic lights and more - to ensure that your doors open quickly, close quickly and keep out unnecessary dust / leaves and temperature fluctuations.
Reduce Energy Loss
Some proactive Door manufacturers offer tools and resources to better calculate the energy loss through your doorways and offer solutions where you could save money by conserving energy in your facility. Try out the Remax Doorway Energy Calculator to compare your current doorway to a Rapid Door / Insulated Door. The Doorway Energy Calculator can be found here.
Don't Forget About the Delivery
The journey of perishable produce or home delivery meals, in this case, also includes the time spent in the delivery van. And how does the product enter / leave the transport vehicle? Is the product delivered from a sealed delivery dock area, with a forklift moving the goods straight from the temperature controlled warehouse to the delivery vehicle? Chances are that the goods leave the warehouse in this way but certainly not at the customer end where the goods are delivered to a residential home.
Are the goods exposed to the elements at any stage of the delivery journey? How many ready-meal deliveries are loaded onto a delivery vehicle at a time; because at each stop off to unload a delivery, potentially allows for letting in warm air, dust and pests. If a delivery van stops around 20 times a day - there are significant opportunities for the controlled interior temperature of the delivery van to be compromised.
Compass Vehicle PVC Strips provide an extra level of temperature and pest control as they can slide up and down the length of the vehicle as goods are despatched and if there is any delay with getting the goods out of the van (once the doors are open), then the PVC Strips create a clear barrier while enabling the delivery staff easy access to their deliveries. Contact the Remax Products Team for a quote today.
It is interesting to note that a survey was carried out by Choice In January 2016 which found that; "Weight loss was a key motivation for users of some meal delivery services, including the popular service Light 'n Easy, Eat Fit Food, Muscle Meals Direct and Dietlicious (sister company to Gourmet Dinner Service)....Motivations aside, people's experiences of these meal delivery services with an emphasis on weight loss were overall positive. Ninety-eight per cent of survey respondents who had used weight loss meal delivery services rated their delivery reliability as good, very good or excellent, and 77% of users rated food quality, freshness and taste as good, very good or excellent overall." Read the full review here.