- Meal kit company Chefs' Menu and media brand So Yummy have partnered to launch a line of multimedia meal kits in stores, reports The Spoon. The meal kits will be available sometime in September, but the exact date and retail locations have not been announced.
- Each So Yummy meal kit will have a QR code on the label that will link to a cooking video showing how the meal is prepared along with tips and meal hacks. Since the meal kits will be offered in-store, shoppers can pull up the video before making a purchase to determine whether it is something they want to try.
- The meal kits will be priced from $12.99 to $18.99 with options like Korean BBQ Steak and Basil Alfredo Chicken Penne. The ingredients have a 28-day shelf life with no synthetic preservatives.
One of the promises behind the original meal kit concept was that it could help people become better cooks with step-by-step instructions, guiding them to prepare beautiful, restaurant-quality meals in a reasonable amount of time. For some consumers, however, meal kit preparation is still a steep task with numerous tiny packages of pre-portioned ingredients, time-consuming prep and difficult steps like creating a roux or julienne slicing root vegetables.
So Yummy's accompanying videos offer an interactive approach aimed at helping shoppers evaluate whether or not to buy a meal kit based on skill level and the time they have. Scanning a QR code is something many shoppers know well, with brands offering everything from recipe inspiration to brand stories with a quick scan. The trick for the two companies, as well as retailers, will be promoting the tool and selling customers on its differentiation and value.
There could also be some brand recognition benefit from So Yummy, which targets moms ages 18 to 49 and reports a reach of 40 million millennials across social media channels each month.
While the So Yummy multimedia kits created with Chefs' Menu aren't yet in stores, Chefs' Menu meal kits are available at several supermarket chains including Costco, H-E-B, Publix, Save Mart, Price Chopper and ShopRite in select markets.
With the success of Buzzfeed’s Tasty channel, which reaches 300 million people monthly and has garnered as many as 3 billion views in one month, cooking videos are winning over consumers. Tasty’s approach features stripped down videos shot from an overhead perspective with simple instructions, and according to The Spoon, Chef's Menu and So Yummy will be using that same popular format for their meal kit videos.
Other digital outlets have contributed to the growth of online cooking videos, particularly among millennials who are comfortable with multimedia formats and at a stage in their lives where they're cooking often. YouTube is now home to a slew of video channels dedicated to nothing but cooking videos and many of them boast subscriber numbers in the multi-millions.
The biggest driver of meal kits is still convenience, which is why so many grocers now offer meal kits in-store in lieu of a subscription service fulfilled online. More than 80% of meals are being cooked at home, according to NPD research, and meal kits are a quick solution for home cooks. Some 93 million Americans are still eager to try meal kits. To capitalize on this demand, meal kit companies have expanded to include quick-prep, ready-to-eat and heat-and-eat solutions in addition to the traditional format.