As consumers prepare fewer meals overall, while demanding more assistance for the ones they do, spending and brand equity will accrue to those companies providing fresh prepared meals on demand, from delivery aggregators to retailers, restaurant operators and others, and away from individual packaged food and drink brands. This report discussing the challenges and opportunities in this new environment, while exploring the broader impact of the emerging fresh food economy.
Following a 20th century defined by dominant global product brands, consumer interest (and spending) in the 21st is turning towards the meal in various stages of preparation, from recipe fulfilment to meal kits to high-end restaurant meals.
As consumers prepare fewer meals overall, with more assistance for the ones they do, spending and brand equity will accrue to the services providing meals, from delivery aggregators to retailers, and away from individual product brands.
Logistics and preparation will grow increasingly separate from discovery and selection, as regular supermarket and restaurant trips give way to more delivery and more quick meal provision.
More prepared meals means new questions for consumer health and the environment. Prepared meals, particularly restaurant meals, have historically not faced the same scrutiny over ingredients or packaging as packaged food and drink, something which must change if present trends continue.
As more planned occasions migrate online, physical retail and foodservice operators will increasingly compete for the same set of same-day, unplanned/low-planning “meal fulfilment” occasions.
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