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    VIDEO: Biggest Plus of Meal Kits May Not Be Convenience

    Sustainability study finds 62 percent less food is wasted.

    NATIONAL REPORT — In a new installment of his video series with Convenience Store News parent company, EnsembleIQ, Phil Lempert discusses the meal kit delivery market.

    The U.S. meal kit delivery market is on track to generate approximately $1.5 billion in sales this year and grow to a multibillion-dollar market over the next five years, according to a recent report by market research publisher Packaged Facts, entitled "Meal Kit Delivery Services in the U.S." 

    Aside from convenience, one player in this market is giving Americans yet another reason to try its service: cooking with a meal kit may waste upwards of 60 percent less food than cooking with ingredients purchased at the grocery store, Lempert explained. Each meal from Blue Apron comes with the exact amount needed for each ingredient.  

    Blue Apron asked BSR, a nonprofit focusing on sustainability to look at the data and calculate how much food actually stayed out of landfills. BSR studied a week of Blue Apron meals, measuring how much food came into the company's facility and how much was left as waste after the meal kits were prepped and some extra food was donated to a local nonprofit. Then, it compared that to the average waste for those ingredients — based on USDA numbers — in grocery stores. The Blue Apron facility threw out 5.5 percent of food; grocery stores threw out 10.5 percent.  

    BSR then surveyed 2,000 Blue Apron customers to find out how much they threw out in meals that week — maybe they didn't like a particular ingredient, or they didn't eat a full meal. Compared with USDA food waste stats for the same ingredients, home cooks threw out 7.6 percent of the food in Blue Apron meals vs. an estimated 23.9 percent they would throw out to make the same meal from store-bought ingredients. 

    Ultimately, when it calculated the entire path from Blue Apron to the home kitchen, BSR found 62 percent less food is wasted at Blue Apron's food prep facility and by consumers than the same meals cooked with grocery store ingredients.

    As CSNews Online previously reported, Lempert and EnsembleIQ forged an exclusive strategic alliance that allows Lempert to provide content and programming to multiple CPG retail media brands within the EnsembleIQ portfolio, including Convenience Store News and Progressive Grocer

    Lempert is founder of The Lempert Report, a food trends publication, and SupermarketGuru.com, a leading online resource for food safety, products, trends and shopping tips that attracts more than nine million visitors annually.

    Click above to watch the video.

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