HelloFresh and Gousto: the most searched meal kits online

Emily Hogarth, 13 Mar 2019

Going to the supermarket can be tough. The initial excitement of overwhelming choice is short lived, and completely evaporated by the time you get home and realise all you’ve bought is a pack of sausages, and a tin of tomatoes. That’s not a meal. Not even half one.

Meal kits provide a way to avoid this disappointment by only sending ingredients that can make a whole meal, and probably one that’s much tastier than you could’ve cooked up. Nothing’s wasted, so you never have a stray carrot lurking in your cupboards for weeks on end, that you tell yourself you’re going to use in the next meal you make, but you’re a filthy liar.

The benefits of meal kits have been rising in public consciousness, not only for health’s sake, but convenience too! We tracked which kits have the most traction online.

What are we plating up?

The below chart shows search volume for meal kit terms featuring the brand name; e.g. gousto meal kit, gousto meal service, gousto meals, gousto menu.

Meal kits blog template

As we can see, searches for specific meal kit providers soared this January, specifically searches for HelloFresh and Gousto.

HelloFresh whetting our appetites

HelloFresh has been the most searched meal kit for the last 3 years. It saw some decline in 2016 but still remained top of the pile. Perhaps we were all particularly trashy in 2016?

From January 2018 to January 2019, it saw a 22% increase in search volume. This dominance and success in online search over the last year is reflected in the ‘real world’:

  • Revenues for HelloFresh soared 41.4% to €1.2bn (£1.03bn) in 2018.
  • Total number of orders increased 43.1% year-on-year to 27.1m.
  • Losses before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation narrowed from €70.1m to €54.5m.

(stats from Guardian)

Be our Gousto

Gousto has seen a steady increase over the last three years, keeping close to HelloFresh but never surpassing it. However, Gousto’s growth is far more impressive with an 80% increase between January 2018 to January 2019. If this growth continues into 2019, will it finally overtake HelloFresh?

Again, this online success is reflected in its ‘real world’ business activity – it reported a 170% year-on-year growth.

The UK brand offers a number of promos and discounts to encourage first time meal kitters to choose them over the competition. Most recently, it partnered with the instagram chef Joe Wicks, which, along with other investment, has contributed to raising £18 million in funding.

It is even branching out and developing new tech to make its service more convenient; it recently launched a customer facing AI recipe recommendation tool, which is now apparently used by half of its customers to place orders. This sort of innovative tech integration future-proofs Gousto and puts it ahead of the curve, in comparison with other meal kits.

It’s an online dinner party

Looking at the data, there’s not doubt that meal kits are going to keep growing in popularity. There are a number of meal kit brands already operating, and competition for the nations dinner tables is fierce. As most meal kit providers operate solely online, it’s essential they have a strong presence and understanding of their competitors. We’ve also seen how search intelligence reflects the overall health of a business, as revenue and growth correlate.

 

If you like the insights in this post, get in touch to see further meal kit data.

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