If it seems like the meal-kit industry is everywhere these days, that’s because it well and truly is! No matter where you go online, you will usually end up seeing some sort of promotion for these types of firms. One of the current market leaders, Hello Fresh, has sponsored ads on social media platforms, while a lot of influencers are regularly tweeting or ‘gramming about their current favorite meal-kit brand. This indicates high brand performance, right?
These brands are growing stronger. In fact, Gousto recently raised 18m GBP in a series E funding while Mindful Chef closed a 6m GBP series A round. If anything, it looks like the buzz and excitement around these meal kits are only going to get louder!
Investors are loving all of the marketing around meal-kit brands, but what does the average British citizen think of it all? To find out, we surveyed 1,000 people to see just how aware they are of the differences between each industry brand and how favourably they view them.
Read on to see how we unboxed the brand performance results for meal-kit delivery brands!
The British Public on Meal-Kit Delivery Brand Performance
For the purpose of this survey, we wanted to find out about brand performance for the following brands that are active in the UK: Simply Cook, Gousto, Riverford Organic Farmers, Abel & Cole, Marley Spoon, and Hello Fresh.
To get the ball rolling, we asked to find out about unaided brand awareness with an open-ended question. Unaided brand awareness answers are the answers respondents provide without being prompted. It is a way of showing which brands are top-of-mind in an industry. When you think of meal-kit delivery, which brands come to mind. Unfortunately, not many of the brands will be pleased with the results. Hello Fresh was the brand that most were aware of, but only 14% of participants had heard of it before. Just 6% had heard of Gousto while a mere 2% thought of Simply Cook. It’s bad news for all of the other brands in question as none of them popped into our participants’ minds.
You would hope that branding and marketing would do enough for a company to at least be remembered by some participants, but 50% of the brands fell flat at this point. When thinking about exactly how well-known these meal-kit delivery services are, these results aren’t all that promising.
We then thought it was only fair to jog our participants’ memories with an aided brand awareness question. We gave them a list of the brands and asked which they had heard of. Thankfully, no one received 0% anymore!
D2C brand Hello Fresh was by-far the most known brand as 53% of participants had heard of it. Next was Simply Cook as 38% knew of the name and logo. Gousto and Abel & Cole were known by 31% and 20% of those surveyed respectively. The brands that our participants knew least well were Riverford Organic Farmers (13%) and Marley Spoon (4%).
Brand awareness jumped up when people had the meal-kit delivery service names and logo in front of them. But is that enough to think of them as well-known in the UK? If a consumer can’t think of a brand without being prompted, then they might be less likely to think to use them on their own time.
It is always interesting to look into the public’s awareness of certain brands. Sometimes this can be slightly misleading if we want to know how well-liked a brand is, as awareness can also come from negative press. In order to find out exactly what our participants thought about the meal-kit delivery services, we asked them about what they associate with each one.
When it came to Simply Cook, 45% of participants said that they thought of the brand as appealing and good value. 43% also stated that they believe it’s a high-quality brand. 35% described the brand as reliable and 30% said trustworthy.
Gousto fared slightly better in some categories. 50% of respondents said that they believed the brand to be of high quality and 49% stated that it is appealing. 36% also said that they believe it to be good value for money. Both reliability and trustworthiness came in at 29%.
Riverford Organic Farmers did even better when it comes to quality as 51% of respondents rated it as high. 49% said that they think of it as appealing and trustworthy, while 45% said that the brand is reliable. Slightly fewer people (32%) said that it offered good value for money.
Next, it’s the turn of Abel & Cole. It scored well as a high-quality brand – 49% of respondents described it as such. 44% said that it is an appealing brand and 36% said that they trusted it. Reliable and good value scored 33% and 31% respectively.
When asked about the same associations with regards to Hello Fresh, 51% stated they saw it as high quality and 49% said they found it appealing. 43% associated the brand with good value, while 32% thought it to be reliable. Finally, 31% said it was a trustworthy brand.
What Can We Take from These Associations?
When it comes to high quality, Riverford Organic Farmers and Hello Fresh take the top spot.
Riverford Organic Farmers also do quite well on reliability as they are just 4% behind Marley Spoon. All of the other brands fall at least 10% below. It’s a similar story for trustworthiness.
As every brand are only at or under 50% for most associations, there is still plenty of room for improvement. If plenty were put into their marketing efforts, then their brand awareness and associations could drastically improve.
What Can Meal-Kit Delivery Brands Take from This?
The main takeaway from this research is that there is still some work to be done in order to raise brand performance, especially brand awareness. That’s even the case with Hello Fresh, who is arguably the most well-known brand in the whole list.
One way for these brands to move forward would be to start diversifying their promotional methods, rather than solely relying on social media influencers and sponsored posts. Take the American firm Blue Apron as an example. Their strong content marketing has helped them increase their customer base and gain a lot of positive press and PR opportunities. Another American-based brand, YouFoodz, has taken a similar approach and also saw considerable success after reducing its customer acquisition costs.
Of course, brands shouldn’t just try to copy their competitors’ methods – they can start to track them as well to see how well their own brand awareness methods compare up against them. These comparisons can also give a long-term view of how well brand consideration and associations are also performing, especially as the market starts to grow. Overall, these insights will help them improve their brand performance. Sounds good!