Meal kits have been around for a number of years. When they first launched, the novelty and ease of use quickly drove the subscriptions up. But sales plateaued as competitors proliferated and differentiation between companies was missing. After all, how many meal subscriptions does a household need? The cost of the first sale was high, and competitors all seemed to be trying to reach the same target market. Growth stalled.
But, the coronavirus pandemic is changing the dynamics of the market once again. With more people staying at home, restaurants closed, and fear of the virus in crowded places such as supermarkets, meal kits are primed for a resurgence. According to Nielsen Research, consumer spending on meal kits in April of this year is nearly double the level from the same period a year ago.
Restaurants also are getting in on the action with Panera Break readying a launch of its own make-your-own salad and sandwich kits. It is being joined by other dining chains such as Denny’s, Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack, and others. Doing an Internet search for “meal subscription boxes” brings up dozens of options for meal and snack subscriptions!
Environmental conditions have a big impact.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
Discuss the importance of environmental scanning in marketing.
What are the environmental factors that are impacting the meal kit industry?
How can meal kit companies use this information to retain and grow their customer base?
Divide students into team. Have each team research one of the following meal kit companies, or another of their choosing:
Companies and marketers are facing unusual times. Since the coronavirus has impacted global businesses, nearly all companies have had to make pivots in strategy to accommodate the rapidly changing environmental conditions.
One of the industries hardest hit by the coronavirus is travel and tourism. Airplanes are nearly empty as states implement stay-at-home policies. Hotels have empty rooms. Restaurants are restricted to curb-side delivery only. Honestly, it’s a mess and every marketer has to be up for the challenge and demonstrate agility.
Case in point: Airbnb has had to halt its ‘Experiences’ business where local residents provide unique experiences to travelers. It hosts 40,000 events in more than 1,000 cities around the globe. But, due to coronavirus, the in-person experiences are closed until stay-at-home restrictions lift.
Pivoting with the changing environment, Experiences offers online events in more than 30 countries. Experiences include tango lessons with a Latin Grammy nominee, guided meditation with sleepy sheep in United Kingdom, meditation with a Japanese Buddhist monk in Japan, and my favorite – a day in the life of an Olympic bobsledder!
Airbnb provides free experiences for isolated senior, giving them an opportunity to meet new people, but also travel anywhere in the world to learn something new.
Search out new experiences.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
Discuss the differences between marketing products and marketing services.
What has been the impact of the coronavirus on the travel and tourism industry?
What are ways that this industry can stay relevant and responsive to a changing marketplace?
Feeling stressed? Kids and adults need to be able to relax and play. One toy company ready to accommodate adults is a long-time favorite around the globe – Lego!
Lest we think that Legos are only for young kids, the company has set its sights on the adult market, promoting the colorful blocks as a way to escape stress and achieve a level of calm. Lego has new, more complicated and expensive kits that are targeted at Gen X members. New kits include the Central Perk café from “Friends,” a vintage Batmobile, Star Wars Millennium Falcon, Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle and many more. Lego has also revised instruction manuals to make kits foolproof and introduced new models that have soothing movements.
Adult Lego fans also have their own Facebook and Reddit groups, along with the acronym AFOLS (adult fans of Legos). Plus, in a master stroke of branding, Legos now has a prime-time TV show featuring teams competing to build Lego masterpieces. There are even books that focus on the joy of playing with Legos.