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Meal kit services most popular in Atlantic Canada

A new survey released Tuesday by Angus Reid and Dalhousie University shows 28 per cent of East Coasters have tried the service
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Atlantic Canadians are the biggest supporters of meal kits in the country.

A new survey released Tuesday by Angus Reid and Dalhousie University shows 28 per cent of East Coasters have tried the service offered from businesses like Hello Fresh, Chefs Plate and Goodfood.

However, only 7 per cent of us are placing orders regularly.

That's higher than the national average where 21 per cent of Canadians have tried a meal kit and 4 per cent are ordering them on a regular basis.

"Meal kits are a great formula because it does reduce the food waste you generate as a family and it allows people to get back in the kitchen," said Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, the director of Dalhousie's Agri-food Analytics Lab. "You don't have to do any menu management, they do everything for you."

Canada's meal kit industry has basically tripled in the past 5 years and it's expected to exceed $400 million this year. Canadians under 34 are twice as likely to have placed an order as those 55 and older.

Charlebois said the kits allow people to try new recipes and get creative in the kitchen with little effort.

"It's the convenience," he explained. "The way that meal kits work, you basically get pre-cut, pre-measured ingredients and within 5 to 10 minutes in your own kitchen, you'll feel like a professional chef. People really enjoy that."

However, users point to price -- which can range between $10 and $12 a person per meal -- and packaging as downsides of the service.

The study also explored food delivery apps, which 39 per cent of Canadians have now tried at least once. That's up 10 per cent since last May.

"That industry is now worth $1.5 billion, and that $1.5 billion represents over-priced food really because you have to pay more to get that food delivered to your home," Charlebois said.

He expects apps like UberEATS and Skip The Dishes to grow exponentially over the next few years, but he feels the industry needs to take steps to address some customer concerns.

In addition to price, those using the services have pointed to food temperature and overpacking as the drawbacks of ordering food through an app.


Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana & lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the community editor for HalifaxToday.ca.
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