Post Categories: July 2017

Retail Strategy and Insights: Private Brand Meal Solutions Bring Innovation to the Table

In the race to capture the attention and dollars of increasingly time-starved consumers, 2016 seemed like the year of the meal kit. Dozens of online meal kit delivery services flourished, growing to a $1.5 billion business, according to market research firm Packaged Facts.

It’s true that’s just a small portion of the $668 billion total grocery market—but not so small that it went unnoticed. Just as quickly as meal subscription kits seemed to pop up, several traditional grocery retailers and brands jumped to get in the game and deliver similar solutions to shoppers’ “what’s for dinner?” needs.

But traditional retailers and brands aren’t just limiting themselves to “me-too” options that use the same meal-in-a-box model as subscription-based companies. Instead, several are bringing even more variety and flexibility to the table. One of Daymon’s retailer partners, a grocery chain based in the northeastern U.S., is a prime example of such innovation—offering private brand, chef-inspired meal-kit components that shoppers can mix and match to create a countless number of options.

“The program came about after the retailer’s vice president of own brands and Daymon’s private brand team saw a similar concept presented at the Private Label Manufacturer’s Association (PLMA) conference in late 2015,” explains Cristy Daley, Business Manager for Daymon. Both parties were excited by the prospect of an innovative, private brand solution that could compete with the growing popularity of meal kits—and eventually teamed up to bring the program to fruition for the retailer.

Launched in the fall of 2016, the retailer’s meal kit solution lineup features a collection of eight sauces, four sides, four vegetable blends and a seasoning blend all set within the store’s meat case, alongside beef, chicken, pork, shrimp and salmon.

“In the center of the set are brochures that include recipe ideas to help shoppers choose what they want and how to prepare it at home,” says Daley. “The idea is that you can pick a sauce, side, vegetable and protein, cook it all in one pan and have a gourmet meal that was actually designed by a chef in about 15 minutes.”

Not only does the ability to mix and match the components offer more variety than a traditional subscription-based kit, the retailer also has plans to rotate its selection to keep the program feeling fresh and on-trend for shoppers. What’s more, the retailer has found that even shoppers who aren’t quite ready to go “all in” with the full kit are still enjoying the convenience of the ready-to-cook components—for example, by pairing just the meat and vegetable, or vegetable and side.

Daley admits the retailer had some concerns at first about carving out space in its meat case for this new solution set. But those concerns have long been put to rest as the retailer has seen the success of the program continue to grow. “Our retailer partner has seen a huge spike in the movement of all of the proteins,” she explains. “Overall, they’re extremely happy with the program and already looking for other ways to innovate with meal solutions throughout the store.”

To learn more about partnering with Daymon to build a private brand meal solution, contact Cristy Daley at