Why Is Meal Prep So Popular — Is It A Fad Or Trend?

In 2016 the worldwide market for food delivery was an estimated €83 billion, or one percent of the total food market and four percent of food sold through restaurants and fast-food chains according to Mckinsey Research.

In the UK, the takeaway sector was worth an estimated £9 billion of which £5.5 billion is through the takeaway delivery sector, according to JustEat and Morgan Stanley analysts estimate that the $30 billion US online food delivery sector could potentially reach $210 billion

CGA Peach in March 2016 reported that 28.6 million British consumers during a recent six month period had food delivered. One in five (19%) received a delivery at least weekly, and two in five (39%) get a takeaway at least monthly.

The demographics that are predominantly ordering food are young, urban based adults with nearly two thirds of those aged under 35 placing orders weekly. Therefore ordering food takeaway along with desire to seek out healthier food choices, is quite popular amongst a certain demographic.

In recent years both in the UK and internationally I have observed a significant increase in the number of these types of healthy meal delivery services. I found searching for these types of services online and finding a suitable one to suit my nutrition needs a challenge. There was not just one site that compared the offerings of every healthy meal delivery service in the UK. Therefore YouRCooK evolved into a platform to solve that problem and help consumers find online the healthier meal suppliers that can provide affordable and nutritious meals.

A few years ago, around 2015 I can recall just over a handful of these services in the UK but now there over 100 and the number is growing weekly. The USA has a bigger market so naturally healthy meal management providers have grown more rapidly there.

At that time there was no single platform that could help you to easily find all the healthy meal delivery services that delivered to your area and so I initially created a healthy meal provider business directory. YouRCooK now focuses on comparing the offerings of meal prep/meal kit services such as information about delivery areas, meal packages, pricing and other relevant information.

My vision is it for to be a one stop healthy meal delivery platform where you can easily find out essential information of healthy meal delivery services. Think of YouRCooK as a combination a healthier version of Just Eat or Grub Hub mixed with Go Compare and Bookings.com and even Yelp.

Many of us lead busy lives and want to quickly and successfully choose a healthy meal management services provider that will suit their nutrition requirements. In my LinkedIn article, I list 10 Benefits of Using a Personalised Meal Prep or Meal Kit Delivery Service.

Creating your own food prep at home could also save you time on cooking. For example you might set aside and a Sunday afternoon to do all your meal prep for the following week. Popular instagram accounts such as MealPrepSociety and MealPrepDaily provide many meal prep recipes for the followers of their account to try. There are also many different websites that provide meal prep recipes, guides and ebooks on the subject.

You could argue that the meal prep concept is nothing new because some people have always prepared meals at the weekend or had leftovers that they would then comsume throughout the week. However with meal prep, there is a focus on creating a balanced meal or a specific dietary plan. For example meal prep companies will provide different meal plans such as weight and fat loss, muscle building, competition prep (for physique modelling) and fitness.

Our YouRCooK Global Meal Prep and Meal Kit Delivery Services Comparison Site allows consumers to filter their search by categories such as nutrition, menus, location, delivery frequency and price range of meals. The site is evolving and therefore over the next few months there will be some changes to make the platform more efficient.

Meal prep is unlike standard hot takeaway food ordering platforms which are based in one country and you can only search for businesses in a limited delivery radius as you are generally restricted to specific locations. There are some meal prep and meal kit delivery companies which deliver nationally and internationally.

In 2016 YouRCooK featured at the largest annual health and fitness event in Europe Bodypower, where approximately 90,000 people attended. I personally spoke with many consumers about meal prep businesses about the YouRCooK concept and received invaluable feedback. Bodypower 2017 takes place from 12–14th May 2017 and Birmingham NEC.

In May 2016, I had the opportunity to attend a range of events and seminars at the Annual Fast Company Los Angeles Event. I listened to talks from Russell Simmons, Geena Davis, John Cena, Eric Garcetti (LA Mayor), Steve Aoki and many others. FCLA returns on 16th May 2017 for a two day event in Los Angeles, featuring guest speakers such as Gwyneth Paltrow of Goop, Perry Fair of Beats by Dr. Dre, Sarah Michelle Gellar of Foodstirs and Richard Pierson of Headspace.

In September 2016 I was apart of a cohort of Food and Drink Businesses from the Midlands that participated in the inaugural Midlands Engine visit to Chicago which was organised by the Department For International Trade. I had the opportunity to learn more about effectively conducting business with the USA and Canada by attending a series of events and seminars such as a Euromonitor presentation on the UK and USA Food and Drink market visiting Tate & Lyle.

Also in that same month I exhibited at the Just Eat sponsored Takeaway and Innovation Expo at London Excel and gave a presentation on healthy eating.

I also got to listen to a interesting presentation by Graham Corfield, MD of Just Eat about the restaurant and takeaway sector and the innovations they were implementing. Just Eat recently acquired their major competitor Hungryhouse.

The meal prep and meal kit services sector is set to develop even further over the next 3 years and on 1st July 2017, YouRCooK will be hosting the inaugural Meal Prep Expo which will bring together consumers and meal prep businesses.

Daily, new healthy meal delivery services from across the world are added to the site. Currently there are over 700 meal prep and meal kit delivery services listed from over 25 countries:

Australia

Barbados

Belgium

Brazil

Canada

Cyprus

Denmark

Germany

Hong Kong

India

Indonesia

Ireland

Jamaica

Jordan

Luxembourg

Malaysia

Mexico

Netherlands

New Zealand

Puerto Rico

Qatar

Singapore

South Africa

Sweden

Switzerland

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States

The largest market is the USA with over 350 North American meal management services listed on YouRCooK and the majority are from the Golden State of California.

Over the course of the next few months I will take a closer look at the healthy meal delivery sector in California and see why these vendors are so popular there.

So I don’t think meal prepping is a fad and it is indeed a trend and here to stay. The market continues to grow and I predict that healthy meal prep delivery services will soon outnumber fast food and takeaway establishments across the UK and USA within the next 5 years.


Originally published at www.your-cook.com by Rachel Garwood