HelloFresh sees pandemic cooking habits continue
Contagion fears may have eased significantly, but many consumers are sticking to their home cooking habits.
On a call with analysts Thursday, April 28, discussing multinational meal kit company HelloFresh’s first quarter of 2022 earnings results, Founder and CEO Dominique Richter argued that home cooking is a “very sticky category”, adding that it is “here to stay”.
“Due to more working from home than ever now, post-pandemic, and also a lot of things that are expected to remain for the foreseeable future, [we] believe much of this behavioral shift in structural change will be permanent, and the respective share gain from outside is here to stay at much higher levels than before the pandemic,” he said. -he declares.
Buying meal kits varies widely among different types of consumers, according to data from PYMNTS’ April study, “ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report: 3 Ways Consumers Are Dealing With Inflation,” which draws on a March survey of more than 2,800 American adults.
Read more: 6 in 10 consumers buy only the essentials as inflation rises
The study found that 61% of all US consumers buy mostly necessities, 10% of the population live a lot (spend more freely, with major purchases, including big ticket items), 23% do occasional splurge on smaller items and the remaining handful of consumers have made no retail purchases in the past month other than groceries.
Fifty-five percent of consumers who live a lot regularly receive a grocery or meal kit subscription, while only 17% of those who splurge occasionally, 29% of those who stick to the basics and 18% of those who only shop for groceries. do the same.
Additionally, many businesses are currently struggling with rapidly rising food costs, leaving them to decide how much to cost, how much to squeeze their margins, and how much to pass on to the consumer, potentially alienating their clients. HelloFresh, meanwhile, is making minor changes to its menus to switch to foods that don’t bloat as quickly.
“Obviously, through active management, menu planning, etc., we can somewhat mitigate the impact of adverse food price inflation, but we are not completely insulated from it,” said said the CFO of HelloFresh Group. Christian Gaertner.
Richter noted that the company has also replaced “some ingredients that bloated faster than others” in the past. He pointed to the example of a few years ago, when a “zucchini crisis” prompted the company to switch to more readily available vegetables.
Yes, food prices are on the rise. The latest edition of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that in March, out-of-home food prices (i.e. groceries) were up 1.5% from February and 10% year-over-year. Additionally, out-of-home (i.e. restaurants) food prices were up 0.3% from February and 6.9% from 2021.
In fact, the issue of inflation and the issue of continuing home dining trends may be interconnected, so the tailwind of the second could help mitigate the impact of the headwind of the former. In a call with analysts on Thursday, the president and CEO of The Hershey Company Michele Buck explained this link.
“We’re still seeing a lot of interest in some of the behaviors at home where people haven’t fully returned to certain things like restaurants and certain activities, frankly, not as much because of COVID – a little more because of some of the pressure of inflation on prices,” she said.
See more : Inflation extends the effect of the home economy on eating habits