BIRMINGHAM, AL (July 16, 2018) – eMeals, a meal planning service that has helped more than 1 million families eat healthy home-cooked meals, announced today that its integrated online pickup and delivery feature now covers 90% of U.S. zip codes with online grocery availability. In addition, one-third of new eMeals subscribers engaged with the platform's online grocery option this year to begin using the service's shoppable recipes with their weekly food orders.
The usage data was reported in a just-completed survey that also documented eMeals' ability to drive grocery sales by increasing the number of home-cooked meals per week, fueling an associated increase in cart size, and providing an affordable alternative to meal kits.
The survey measured the meal planning, shopping and cooking habits of nearly 4,300 respondents who are active users of the eMeals service. Responses showed that:
- 32% of new users engaged with online grocery through eMeals' shoppable recipes, demonstrating strong consumer interest in online pickup and delivery from the service's online grocery partners including AmazonFresh, Walmart Grocery, Kroger ClickList, Instacart and Shipt.
- 43% of those who used the service's shoppable recipes were first-time online grocery users, indicating the value of eMeals' one-click integration with online grocery services in motivating users to try online ordering.
- 34% now cook at home five nights a week compared to 19% before they became eMeals subscribers, helping increase grocery sales by adding two meals per week to the average grocery cart.
- 40% now cook at home six or seven nights a week, more than double the 17% before they became eMeals subscribers, again driving incremental grocery business.
- 94% of respondents who previously used a conventional meal kit service have dropped it, with 76% citing high cost as a reason for cancelling their subscriptions. Other reasons included too much packaging waste, limited recipe variety, complicated recipes and failure to fit users' eating styles.
eMeals offers an affordable and less wasteful alternative to meal kits – while delivering the same meal planning and recipe inspiration advantages – by leveraging the existing grocery supply chain to eliminate the costs of pre-portioning, bagging, boxing and delivering the week's recipe ingredients. That strategy cuts the food price per meal in half compared to meal kits.
Even when not compared to meal kits, survey respondents reported saving an average of $2,000 on their annual grocery spend because of eMeals' efficient use of ingredients within their curated food style plans. Those savings, plus ratings of "satisfied" and "highly satisfied" by 85% of respondents on the simplicity, taste, healthiness and variety of the meals, have helped encourage eMeals adoption and the resulting increase in home-cooked meals by the service's subscribers.
"Every retail grocer is looking for ways to encourage consumers to add more meals to their carts, whether in-store or online. These survey results clearly show that a meal planning service integrated with pickup and delivery partners can increase cart sizes and speed the adoption of online grocery,"" said eMeals CEO Forrest Collier. "It also shows how fulfilling meal solution ingredients through the existing grocery supply chain solves the meal kit problem by lowering costs and simultaneously returning those food sales to the retail grocer's bottom line. It's the best of all worlds for both the consumer and the grocery business."