Our grocery habits have changed at an incredible pace

The booming meal-kit business is leading a drastic change in consumer habits

It’s clear we don’t buy groceries the same way our parents did. We now order online and sign-up for pre-made meals that come in boxes. Even drone delivered groceries is a thing. While we don’t shop the same way our parents did, we are starting to buy groceries like their parents did. Studies now show we actually care more about the packaging our food comes in.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The meal-kit business is among the fastest-growing food segments in the Canadian marketplace[/perfectpullquote]

Ethical consumption is on the rise, with consumer spending on eco-conscious foods and goods increasing, according to Market Research Group Nielson and the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Consumers Trend Report.

Zero Waste shopping is the latest trend

This means less plastic and more paper and cardboard. A resurgence of milkman’esque delivery services where the packaging is re-used. It means more and more of us are getting our Freddy Mercury on and breaking free of all of that nasty plastic packaging waste.

This could be why zero waste grocery stores are taking off. Orillia’s new Refillery District is an example of this.

Refillery District

Zero-waste grocery shopping has caught on in Simcoe County Refillery District.

Posted by Barrie 360 on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

One shopper in his 60’s took a stroll through the new store on Mississaga street. We asked what he thought? “With all of that plastic and those straws in the ocean, its great.”

He said it reminded him of how they shopped as kids. The package-free shopping spot is one of a number of new grocery style stores opening up across Canada. Bulk Barn and Muskoka Natural Food Market also offer refills on food and body care products.

New customer at Orillia’s Refillery District

Meal kits for busy people – a booming business

The meal-kit business is among the fastest-growing food segments in the Canadian marketplace. Think about how many times you’ve seen a post showing a friend or neighbour un-boxing their dinner.

Business is good for the HelloFresh, GoodFood and Chefs Plates’ of the world, but not so much for the grocery chains.

the meal kit industry in Canada has roughly doubled since 2014

The meal kit industry in Canada has roughly doubled since 2014

A new research report by the NDP Group says the meal kit industry in Canada has roughly doubled since 2014 and is expected to exceed $400 million in the next year. NPD’s Industry Advisor, Robert Carter says “the meal kit category has been a true emerging and disruptive segment.”

“The awareness of meal kits and the adoption rate of usage continues to grow as Canadians seek more convenient meal solutions and this is driving the overall growth of this segment” said Carter in a statement.

Fewer shoppers are showing up at the grocery store

Grocery stores are facing more competition from non-traditional operations

Consumers are becoming “obsessed with convenience”

Professor in Food Distribution and Policy at Dalhousie University Sylvain Charlebois says the ready-to-cook segment is now worth almost $200 million in Canada. Charlebois suggests in a recent article in Retail Insider, that our “obsession with convenience” is having a dramatic impact on shopping patterns at the big Canadian grocery chains.

“Supermarket and grocery store sales decreased 3.1%, in a single month. Food retail sales dropped by $221 million in May.” Charlebois says supermarket and grocery store sales have decreased 3.1 per cent in a single month and food retail sales dropped by $221 million in May – which is enough to force the shutdown of “almost 30 decent-sized stores and put nearly 2,000 people out of work”.

Hectic households propel boom

The research suggest the first users of meal-kits were busy households with children. The underlying reason is almost always convenience. While 13 per cent of Canadians have used meal kits, 3 out of 5 meal kit users (62 per cent) are male.