In 2018, Dutch consumers had more than € 3.2 billion in hot meals delivered to their home. That is a growth of more than twenty percent compared to 2017. The popularity of the delivery meal and food box continues to increase. More and more parties are coming to this growth market, like bees on honey. For the time being, independent delivery services are the trendsetters, but internet giants and supermarkets are taking more and more share of the market.

According to the FoodService Institute Netherlands (FSIN), 'delivery' is by far the fastest growing segment within the total food market. The share of delivery meals in the food market is almost six percent and will continue to increase, also in the coming years, according to the recently published FSIN Dossier Delivery 2019. FSIN calls the business booming. Not only the number of online orderers is increasing, the number of orders per customer is also growing.

Supermarkets are also discovering the popularity of delivery meals

The largest players are independent delivery specialists, often with roots in the restaurant industry, and online delivery platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats. In particular, the latter group, to which specialists are also increasingly registering, is leaving an ever-increasing mark on the market segment. In addition, the supermarkets are trying to get a piece of the pie. They expect FSIN to claim a dominant position in the long term.

Albert Heijn gave the go-ahead this year. The country's best-known supermarket has started the delivery of freshly prepared meals in Amsterdam and uses the delivery platforms and Deliveroo. More cities will follow. Albert Heijn sees the number of visitors to its traditional shops decline and hopes to make up for that 'loss' by, among other things, delivering hot meals at home.

IKEA store is also entering the growth market for meal delivery. These are hot meals from our own kitchen. A trial started in Groningen at the beginning of this year, as did Albert Heijn in collaboration with If this experiment succeeds, IKEA will also deliver meals to other cities in other cities.

The meal box is also booming

The consumer is not only passionate about freshly prepared meals, but also about having 'meal boxes' delivered at home. They come in all shapes and sizes and in all price ranges, from the AH Allerhande Box and the BBQ Box from Marley Spoon to the Family Box from Bilder & de Clecq and the Orignal Box from HelloFresh. Online supermarket Picnic, the fur of the 'old-fashioned' super retailers, has also launched its own food box, the 'Presto', at the beginning of this year.

The latest figures from HelloFresh show that this food-home delivery segment is also experiencing rapid growth. The originally German online foodbox giant, with a Benelux distribution center in Bleiswijk, had a turnover of € 1.2 billion in 2018, more than forty percent more than the previous year. The international arm of the company recorded positive earnings for the first time. HelloFresh's share in the meal box market is estimated at 70 percent.

Multichannel strategy for better visibility

The CEO of the market leader spoke of the 'best year in existence'. It is remarkable that HelloFresh uses a multichannel strategy to be optimally visible. In the Netherlands, meal boxes have recently been placed on the shelves of the 260 Plus supermarkets, the main purpose of which is to increase the visibility of the products. For this year, HelloFresh expects a turnover greeting of 25 to 30 percent and the chosen multichannel approach will play an important role in this.

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