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One thing that never went off season, even during pandemic (COVID-19) was home cooked food, adding fuel to fire to the idea of starting a meal prep business. People indulged in cooking and baking stuff while the hustling and bustling streets came to a pause. At that moment, only a few businesses kept going on without the impact of incessant lockdown and the one of them was – the meal prep business. Billions were invested into the industry so that people can stay in their homes and enjoy meals with their families. And if you are interested in bringing something new to this business, then let’s learn how to start meal prep business in this article?
In the past decade, a lot of entrepreneurs and foodies kickstarted the meal prep food delivery business. This was and currently is one of the rapidly emerging unique eCommerce businesses. Indeed, people are getting obsessed with the idea of meal kits! Some of the most popular meal prep businesses that you might have heard of are Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.
To begin with there are two primary reasons, why this meal business has hit the pinnacle of success in 2022, they are;
To justify the reasons, let’s look at this statistic mentioned in one of the reports by Grand View Research:
In 2021, the global meal kit delivery services market size was USD 15.21 billion. And this industry is going to grow at an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.4% from the year 2022 – to 2030. That’s impressive, isn’t it?
The business is inspired by the concept of meal prepping. Meal prepping is basically preparing all your meals (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) ahead of the schedule. This meal-prepping concept is popular amongst those who have less time on their schedule to cook every day. Besides saving time, preparing meals in advance helps people to reduce portion size and keep up with their nutrition goals.
Therefore, many entrepreneurs and food enthusiasts have started providing packaged food items that one can easily add to a bowl and eat! Compared to the fast-food packs, these are a lot more nutritious and healthy. Starting a meal prep business means that you are providing ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook food to the customers. You can bifurcate the meal prep business into two parts: first that comprises of efficient meal preparation strategies, and second that mainly looks at the door-step delivery.
As we have already mentioned, meal kit deliver services contributed around USD 15.21 billion in 2021.
What is more appealing is from the total meal kit delivery market share, the USA contributed more than 45% market share with USD 6.9 billion in 2021.
It is known that mobile apps are beneficial for food business and help in making it to be a profitable venture. One of that primary reason for this is that customers want everything instantly and mobile technology has made things available at their finger tip. As a result, mobile apps are revolutionizing the restaurant business at a much faster rate.
All three reasons and the aforementioned statistics indicate that if you are starting a meal prep business, you are setting your foot in the right industry.
Well, it goes without saying that if you don’t know your customers or potentials you are probably not taking a leap before you bounce. So, here we are with the suggestion who are going to be your potentials buyers for this delicious meal prep business ideas;
Family with children: This group of people often found themselves too busy to take care of their kids. In fact they hardly get time to take care of kids, home and children’s activities altogether. They need someone to help with carrying out a few random job and helping them feed their kids is one of them.
Family living without children: This group of people are laden with hectic day schedule to focus on their careers and hardly get time to cook something delicious for themselves to feed. They can use your service.
Senior citizens: This is the fastest growing population today and they need your services for the following reasons.
For entrepreneurs who want to know how to start meal prep business, the foremost thing is to understand and follow the trend. Since this business is gaining traction in 2022, it is time for you to invest in:
People following a vegan or plant-based diet avoid all types of dairy products such as yogurt, milk, etc, and all types of meat and eggs. Vegan food products are not only hard to find but expensive at the same time. For the same reason, it would be beneficial for your business to provide weekly or monthly vegan meal prep packages.
The kids’ meal prep business is gaining rapid popularity as it helps to reduce parents’ hard work and effort to cook nutritious meals every time. Customers can easily subscribe to the meal packages for kids and get weekly deliveries at the doorstep.
If you have made the decision to start a meal prep business in your region, you need to understand the viable business models. The existing meal prep business follows the below-mentioned models depending on their market and business goals!
Freshly and Hello Fresh follow this model. Under this model, the customers basically demand meal kits. These meal kits are delivered on-demand or on a subscription basis. Enlisted are the advantages of meal-kit plans:
Magic Kitchen and Fresh n Lean are the two popular meal prep businesses that follow this model. This model is best for people who have special diet needs and health goals. These meals are easy to make plus less expensive. Depending on the customer’s needs they can choose the goal-oriented meals such as:
Healthy Choice and Smart Ones are the two popular brand names that follow this business model. Despite the flexibility of meal kits and goal-oriented meals, there is one group of people whose requirements are not met yet. Individuals who live alone or aren’t at their residence all the time. Thus, for them, meal prep businesses have pre-cooked and frozen meals such as instant noodles and rice, frozen burritos, steak, condensed soup, etc.
This business model is advantageous for customers because:
By now, you must have prepared your mind to commence a meal kit delivery business. The whole story we have narrated in the paragraphs above are to help you understand the potential of the food delivery business. So, before you knock on the door of mobile app development company, you should sit back and learn how to start a meal prep business
As has been noted earlier, there are three business models that you can pick from. For a better understanding of how specific models work, study your competitors. In brief, you have three meal options to offer:
You should prepare a well-guided business plan. It should be well-researched so that you can make better decisions. Moreover, a detailed business plan will help you determine what you should do and how to do it right.
A comprehensive plan will also help to identify strengths and weaknesses so that you can tackle technical issues and otherwise.
Acquiring licenses, permits, and insurance is necessary if you are starting a meal prep business in your region. All the legal components differ from region to region. Therefore you need to take the help of a legal professional and acquire the paperwork. Moreover, getting help from legal professionals will eliminate unnecessary expenditure.
For the basics, you will need the following documents to commence your meal prep business:
Marketing strategies are important and with them, you also need to prepare the meal strategies. There are two crucial things to look at while preparing the meal strategies:
Mention everything in your plan. Since you are studying your buyers, you’d automatically come to know what their pain points are and how to solve them.
After the pandemic, everything is online. However, if you believe that offline stores would be best for you, you can opt for the same. In my opinion, the best way to sell more and more meals in your region is through a website or an app.
For better understanding, connect with experts or hire developers team. You also need to figure out what market plan is best for you – traditional marketing or digital marketing.
The cost of starting a meal prep business includes the upfront costs of the rental kitchen along with all the required equipments, the app development cost, and other factors such as:
Although you need not waste your money on fancy vanities, keeping a hygienic, clean, and safe kitchen is your responsibility.
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Summing up, it is crystal clear that the meal prep business is here to stay for long. As long as millennials and Gen X stay concerned about their meals, your business’s sales are going to skyrocket each passing month.
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