- Dinner Daily, an online meal-planning service that creates weekly dinner menus using items from a person's preferred grocery stores, has launched nationwide and is available to more than 10,000 U.S. supermarkets, according to Supermarket News.
- The service incorporates store specials when selecting products and lets users set dietary preferences. Dinner Daily founder Laurin Mills said the tool saves users an average of 20% on their weekly grocery bills.
- Dinner Daily, which costs $48 for an annual subscription or $18 for a three-month subscription, uses store ads and other information from dozens of retailers across the country, including Whole Foods, Aldi, Stop & Shop, Publix and Hy-Vee. The company seeks to integrate with a grocer's e-commerce platform.
Most grocers can only shake their heads as they watch the runaway success of meal kit companies such as Blue Apron. They know they have all the same ingredients and culinary know-how these services offer, but they’re missing the step that ties everything together.
It’s surprising that grocers haven’t done a better job bundling their products or otherwise inspiring meal assembly. Sure, they’ve always offered recipe cards and in-store demos, and these days most grocers have recipes on their websites and offer cooking classes and one-on-one meetings with dietitians, among other programs. Others have tried to mimic the meal kit model in stores. Still, supermarkets have never hit upon a program or a merchandising scheme that resonated the way mail-order meal kits have.
Store layouts, labor costs and other factors make meal inspiration challenging, but the growth of e-commerce could open up new options for grocers. Dinner Daily offers one such avenue: By tying the service to their online platforms, grocers could offer shoppers a convenient meal creation and assembly process that also drives bigger baskets.
In these early days of grocery e-commerce, retailers are slowly building out their online platforms to offer more than just ordering. Many feature shopping list builders that tie in with loyalty cards and mobile apps, while others offer reviews, product information and recipes. These extras will no doubt grow more sophisticated, and they should include options for meal assembly and recipe creation. Grocers already have the convenience of online shopping — now they just need to provide the inspiration.