Drivers of Dutch Consumer Purchase Intentions for Meal Kits and Traditional Meals
Over the years, consumer preference for a meal has changed. The demand for convenience food, which offers a solution to consumers’ time constraints, has increased. The concept of “convenience food” has several categories. One of these relatively new categories is a meal kit, which responds to both the demand for convenience and health. The idea of a meal kit is that the consumer receives a box with the right amount of ingredients and a recipe, so consumers can cook the meals themselves. Previous studies have shown that a meal kit is not necessarily the same as the broad term “convenience food,” but is only part of it. A meal kit also differs from a traditional meal, namely with regard to shopping (not having to find the correct quantities of groceries) and cooking (not having to come up with a recipe yourself). This study examines whether the drivers (1) “reduced choice overload,” (2) “ease of use,” and (3) “involving family members” are different for the purchase intention of a meal kit compared to a traditional meal. The study also examines the effect of “lack of time” and “cooking skills” as moderating variables on these relationships. The sample comprised 188 observations. To check the scales, factor analysis and reliability analysis was used. This analysis shows that the scale for “reduced decision making” consisted of two dimensions: (1) “stress about decision making” and (2) “options for decision making.” After these checks, the data was analyzed by means of a Multiple Regression Analysis. The results of the study show that there is no evidence that the drivers “stress about decision making,” “ease of use,” and “involving family members” are different for the purchase intention of a meal kit than for a traditional meal. All these drivers have no significant effect on purchase intention. However, the driver “options for decision making” differs. As the number of sufficient tasty meal options for a traditional meal increases the purchase intention for a meal kit vs. a traditional meal decreases, contrary to the expected choice overload. As the number of sufficiently tasty meal options for a meal kit increases, the purchase intention for a meal kit vs. a traditional meal also increases. The latter is against the expectation that people would have a greater purchase intention for a meal kit than for a traditional meal. A meal kit would limit the choice overload (which a traditional meal does have with an infinite number of choices when one can cook) because one can only choose from a limited number of dishes per week. Furthermore, the results show that no evidence was found that “lack of time” affects the relationship “involving family members” to “purchase intention of a meal kit vs. a traditional meal” and no evidence was found that “cooking skills” influence the relationship “ease of use” to “purchase intention of a meal kit vs. a traditional meal.” However, evidence has been found that “lack of time” influences the relationship of “ease of 4 use of a traditional meal” with “purchase intention of a meal kit vs. a traditional meal.” Contrary to expectations, this effect shows that the ease of use of a traditional meal is so high that, even when one suffers from of lack of time, the purchase intention for a traditional meal is still greater than for a meal kit. This is against expectations because consumers are expected to be more inclined to choose a quick easy meal kit as opposed to a traditional meal in case of lack of time. The results provide both additional and first insights into the literature on drivers of meal kit vs. traditional meal purchase intentions. Managers and marketers can use the insights of this study to improve the purchase intention of meal kits and therefore their sales.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen