How to Start Online Vegan Meal Kit Delivery Services – Scope, Challenges & Solutions

How to Start Online Vegan Meal Kit Delivery Services – Scope, Challenges & Solutions

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To begin with, let us interpret what a vegan diet is. Any diet that consists of food prepared from plant products is termed a vegan diet. It includes all foods of exclusively plant origin. Such diets require appropriate planning – to provide the requisite health and nutritional benefits.

The last decade has witnessed a surge in the number of people following vegan diets, however, staying focussed on vegan meals is strenuous considering a long list of delish alternate meals. This is where a meal kit delivery service comes into play. It pays dividends by delivering the appropriate ingredients required to prepare an exclusive meal at home along with a step-by-step recipe by professionals in this niche.

According to Statista, a vegan meal kit delivery service is a trending business venture, with an expected revenue surge of around 24.14 Billion USD by 2027, making this a promising niche for a food delivery startup.

The following article brings forth the factors contributing to the rise of the vegan meal kit industry and a step-by-step guide to building a vegan meal prep business.

Table of Contents

Factors Contributing to the Growth of Vegan Meal Kit Delivery

In this section, we shall discuss various facets propelling the growth of the global vegan meal delivery service market.

Following a vegan diet can be a rewarding experience healthwise. Its various benefits for its end users are major contributing factors to the growth of this industry.

Preparing vegan meals can be overwhelming and time-consuming, thereby making it even more difficult to stick to them. A general pain point of people following such diets is keeping up with it for the long term. Owing to this, vegan meal kits being delivered to consumers’ doorsteps can be considered an easy, time-saving, and convenient alternative.

A major factor contributing to the growth of the vegan meal kit industry is that it has weekly and monthly vegan meal subscription boxes, making it a cost-effective solution for the consumer. It is one of the most suited ways to demonstrate the quality and flexibility of meals being delivered to the customers. Such subscriptions become an important factor for retaining a customer base.

Another important factor about veganism is the quality of food. Consumers following plant-based diets are very particular about their meals and the ingredients used to prepare them. Bringing variety in your organic plant meals along with maintaining an adequate nutritional value daily can be strenuous. A plant-based meal kit can be of huge assistance as it delivers high-quality ingredients with apposite safety measures. They add variation to the meals to keep the consumers enthusiastic to adhere to their diets.

Moreover, preference for homemade meals is increasing at a rapid pace among the younger generation, and vegan meals being a fantastic source for ensuring optimal health are best if cooked at home. These kit services help in avoiding specific nutrient deficiencies whilst facilitating a perfect homemade meal. Since a vegan meal comprises a large variety of whole plant foods, it naturally helps the consumer to intake a limited number of calories, facilitating weight loss.

While dealing with cooking food at home or a restaurant, food wastage is a very common factor. To minimize such wastage, the consumer population strives to attain an environment-friendly lifestyle. Vegan meal kit delivery facilitates this scenario in two ways, firstly by delivering proportioned plant-based foods and secondly by bringing significant reduction in carbon emissions and waste byproducts due to less consumption of animal products. The last decade has witnessed a surge in the inclination of consumers towards plant-based meals due to health, animal welfare, and other environmental concerns.

The vegan meal industry has huge opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs.

A few factors in this regard are shared below:

  • A new Revenue Model: It has come as a great opportunity for startups and restaurants struggling to find a footing in the industry.
  • Less Operational Cost: The business has considerably less operational cost as compared to a traditional dine-in restaurant. As the cost of meal preparation and overhead expenses of a restaurant is almost negligible, making it one of the lucrative industries in the present times.
  • Customized Meal Kits: A strong customer base is a stepping stone towards the success of a business. Businesses with customized meal kits have proved a great way to attract customers in this niche.

Business Model

Meal kit delivery business plan meals on a weekly basis to deliver ingredients to the customer, eliminating the hassle of grocery shopping. A plant-based meal prep business works in the following manner.

  • The website displays several vegan meals and recipes along with well-planned menus for weekly and monthly subscriptions.
  • Consumers browse through the website either to order a single meal or subscribe to a meal plan.
  • The selected meals are added to the cart and respective payments are made.
  • The business then delivers the meal(s) to the customer’s doorstep.

Big Market Players in this Niche

The meal-kit industry is expected to show a huge leap in revenue generation with a compound annual growth rate expansion of 13% from 2021 to 2028.

Given below are two major players in this niche:

Business Revenue Established Year CEO
Purple Carrot $14.6 Million/per year 2014 Andrew Levitt
Veestro $7 million/per year 2013 Mark Fachler

 

Purple Carrot

It is a plant-based meal and meal kit delivery service. It is well known for its exclusive variety of recipes every week. It allows the consumer to select among 8 dinner recipes along with several lunch and breakfast recipes. It allows the customer to customize their menu. Purple Carrot has an estimated annual revenue of 14.6 Million USD per year.

Veestro

It is a pre-prepared plant-based meal delivery service since 2013. Its mission is to provide plant-based food to consumers in a convenient way. It is now a 7 Million USD/ year profitable enterprise.

How to Start Vegan Meal Kit Delivery Business

When planning to start a vegan meal kit delivery service, an in-depth knowledge of this niche will help you achieve desired results or success. As mentioned earlier in this article, vegan meals are exclusively prepared from plant products.

Therefore as a business owner, the key requirements would be, awareness of stores to find raw material for such meals along with bringing chefs onboard with niche expertise. Moving further we shall provide a step-by-step guide on how to start a vegan meal delivery.

Know your Customers

Understanding your target customers can go a long way when planning to start up a business. 

Consumers opting for vegan meal kits majorly have the following requirements:

  • Consumers require ready-made meals or meal kits to save time.
  • In order to adhere to their healthy lifestyle and maintain a diet routine
  • A way out to avoid wastage of food.

A meal kit service adheres to such requirements by weekly subscriptions and proportioned ingredients in the meal kits delivered at customers’ doorstep.

Make a Business Plan

Once you are clear about the niche and your target audience, the next step would be to formulate a business plan. Given below are some of the key components of a vegan meal delivery business plan.

  • A precise description and concept of the company
  • A well-planned menu
  • A management and ownership structure
  • Staffing needs of your business
  • Detailed analysis of market and competitors
  • Financial planning

A sound business plan can lay a strong foundation for your business. It can help a business owner make result-driven decisions and strategize your business accordingly.

Acquire License, Permits, Insurance

Before you begin any kind of business, it must be legally compliant. A vegan meal kit delivery business requires licenses, permits, and insurances to provide an uninterrupted flow of a business. 

Assistance from a legal advisor can help to avoid any delays in paperwork. The following list of licenses might be helpful while launching a vegan meal prep business.

• A Food Handler’s Permit
• Catering License
• Business License
• An EIN (Employee Identification Number)
• Health Department Permit
• Sales Permit

 

The licenses to be filed depend on the area and location of your establishment, likewise, permits are area-specific as well. To gain deeper knowledge in this regard, it is advised to research before filling any kind of license and permit for your business.

Marketing Strategies

Once all the licenses have been acquired and the product is legally compliant, the next step would be to build a marketing strategy. Marketing a meal prep business can be approached in two ways.

One is the traditional way of marketing. This type of marketing will enhance brand visibility in the vicinity. As it’s a digital era, the preferred way of marketing should be digital, owing to vast customer reach. Digitization has given a boon to the meal kit industry, some of the digital marketing strategies are listed below:

  • Marketing through social media
  • Content marketing
  • Marketing through advertisements 
  • SEO approach

Use of MVP Approach to Building a Meal Prep Software

A meal kit delivery software brings a new dimension to the meal prep industry. The features embedded in the software allow the seamless working of the system by streamlining the meal ordering and delivery process.

MVP is the best-suited approach to any business startup. As an entrepreneur, you can take the idea of a plant-based meal prep software model to the customers and gather feedback to enhance the product as per the customer. The iterative development propels the product in the right direction and can even assure success for the product in the later stages. The final product built is in alignment with the consumer demands and brings huge perspectives for companies’ growth.

Must-have Features in the Product

This topic shall include all the features that make a vegan meal prep business serve its customers in the best way possible. These features bring out the importance and uniqueness of the product.

Let’s begin with the first feature that the customer comes across, it’s the user interface of the application. The first interaction of the user with the system lays a foundation of belief in the product.

The next important feature is menu management. A customer comes across the application majorly to order a meal kit, if the menu is well displayed and properly managed, it makes it an effortless experience for the customer.

Once the meal is selected and added to the cart, the payment becomes the next important feature to be addressed. Every customer wants a simple and easy payment method. Integrating third-party applications into the system for facilitating safe and secure payments will give a competitive advantage to the product.

A few other features to enhance the user experience as well as give a seamless management experience to the admin are subscription management, location-based search, rating, and review system, and email notifications.

Launch your Feature-rich Plant-based Meal Kits Delivery Marketplace

Challenges in a Vegan Meal Kit Delivery Kit Service

Every business including the vegan meal-kit industry comes with a handful of challenges, some of which are discussed below.

Challenges Solutions
The major challenge of the meal prep industry is to retain customers in the pandemic-free world. The companies can come forward with ways for people to remain motivated to maintain their routines of healthy eating habits. A meal prep software allows you to send regular notifications to the customer about new healthy meal routines and their benefits keeping them inspired to stick to their vegan diets.
In a plant-based meal delivery business, logistic management in order to deliver perishable foods in pristine condition to the customer is another major challenge. Whether it’s local sourcing of organic ingredients or packaging the meals perfectly, a logistic management feature in meal prep software can be helpful in the seamless management of logistics both inside and outside the kitchen.
Another crucial challenge is maintaining flexible delivery windows and meeting delivery deadlines with different location constraints. Timely delivery is imperative in the food industry to deliver the food items to the customer in pristine condition. A well-integrated delivery management system assists in timely deliveries in preferred time windows.
Another major challenge is the high prices of meals. The ingredients in a meal kit are much more expensive than the same ingredients when bought from a store. To make the customers choose a meal kit delivery it is important to pay attention to precise details such as packaging of ingredients, quality of ingredients and amount of ingredients when delivered to the customer. Such refinements will state the fact that, even though meal kits are expensive, they are much more efficient.

 

Conclusion

For consumers who prefer a perfectly proportioned vegan meal, the meal-kit delivery services offer an easy solution to make their meals fun and healthy. They even allow chefs to bring creative ideas to the kitchen while cooking an exclusive plant-based meal.

As an entrepreneur, planning to build meal kit delivery software can be an overwhelming task. On the contrary, choosing a customizable platform to launch a vegan meal prep business can be a wise decision. It helps the business owner optimize their efforts in terms of time and money.

Customizable software allows modifications as per the requirements of the admin. They provide a competitive advantage to the business by making their meal kit delivery marketplace as per the contemporary on-demand meal delivery industry.

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