In 2020, stay-at-home orders changed the culinary landscape, causing foodies to explore new avenues for daily dining. Among them were meal kit delivery services—subscription-based ready-to-eat meals or pre-packaged ingredients used to create gourmet recipes in one’s own kitchen. With its rapid growth during the pandemic combined with customers’ increased desire for convenience, meal kit delivery is poised to become an $11.6 billion industry by 2022.
The market is full of meal kit services, with options catering to every diet under the sun. Unfortunately, many have suffered from poor last-mile delivery performance. Customer complaints include damaged boxes, late arrivals, and downright insolence from the last mile delivery workers, all completely unacceptable when handling the precious cargo of perishable foods. This is especially hazardous in an industry that delivers, at the end of it all, customer delight. Here's how you can elevate last-mile delivery at each step to create a memorable customer experience that will leave customers coming back for seconds.
Localize fulfillment centers
Because meal kits have such a short shelf life, local nano-warehousing and micro-fulfillment centers are the key to fast, fresh deliveries. Small, hyper-local distribution centers help curb the common customer gripe of late arrival times by keeping ingredients close to their final destinations. They also give meal kit providers the opportunity to partner with local farmers to source foods, yet another marketable advantage to distinguish your brand.
Customize driver training
Bottom-line, meal kit delivery is challenging. The last mile, for even the most seasoned delivery pro, requires precision and proper training. That’s why the delivery pro plays a crucial role in brand perception and customer retention—56% of shoppers say they would stop buying from a company after a bad delivery experience! With your sales on the line, specialized white glove training is a must for drivers to deliver each meal kit intact. This up-front training will mitigate delivery errors, saving future time and money and sparing broken relationships with buyers.
Keep customers in the loop
Customers have come to expect package tracking for e-commerce orders, and for perishable food items, real-time tracking is even more of a necessity. When you provide real-time tracking, hungry customers don’t have to wonder where their meals are, giving them peace of mind and a positive brand experience.
Understand the importance of sustainability
Many eco-conscious consumers have rejected the idea of meal kits, scorning the excessive waste that accompanies pre-packaged food. Often, meal kit ingredients are stored in small plastic bags and kept cold with ice packs that are not easily recycled. Eco-friendly packaging, not only demonstrates that your brand cares about the environment, it allows subscribers to directly participate in an act of sustainability themselves by recycling, composting, or even planting the packaging itself, creating a hands-on, green experience with your brand.
One luxury meal kit brand wanted to take sustainability initiatives even further by collecting subscribers’ used meal containers upon their next delivery to be repurposed or recycled. But with poorly trained drivers, delivery errors, and mishandling of fragile packaging, last-mile deliveries were wreaking havoc on their customer experience. The brand turned to logistics provider GEODIS City Delivery to fully revamp last mile operations, including line haul, cross-dock, specialized driver training, and real-time delivery tracking. Since its inception, this partnership has resulted in a 98.2% on-time delivery rate, a 50%+ reduction in delivery errors, and an increased capacity to recycle post-consumer materials. Now, the luxury meal kit brand is able to provide the exclusive experience its customers deserve, improving both their diets and their carbon footprint.
In a post-pandemic world where many have returned to in-person grocery shopping and dining out, meal kit delivery services must differentiate themselves to stay on consumers’ tables. When you partner with GEODIS City Delivery, we’ll transform the logistical challenge of meal kit delivery into a memorable customer experience that sets your brand apart. Let’s get started.