Consumers have limited resources made up of time, money, energy and cognitive capacity, and act to conserve these resources in an effort to decrease perceived costs. Consumers perceived scarcity of resources, and the way in which goals compete for these scarce resources, often leads to more unhealthy mealtime choices. As a result, consumers suffer from increased levels of stress, anxiety, and guilt and are searching for convenient options to help them manage goal conflict. Consumers form an overall perception of value based on perceived costs and benefits that drive their purchase decision when choosing between various options available.
Meal-kit delivery services are a relatively new concept and limited academic literature exists on the topic specifically. It is important to understand how the consumer evaluates perceived value and the resulting impact on business. Innovative start-ups are providing solutions to these problems through subscription-based meal-kit delivery services and are disrupting traditional retail. But meal-kits can be viewed as less convenient in that they require increased consumer participation through cooking from scratch and the aim of this research was to better understand the evaluation of perceived costs and benefits by the consumer, outside of just convenience, and in light of significant goal-conflict.
This research adopted an exploratory, inductive approach and 14 in-depth, semi-structured, qualitative interviews of consumers who subscribe to a meal-kit delivery service was conducted in an attempt to develop a framework of factors consumers consider when deciding to subscribe to a meal-kit delivery service.
This research revealed that consumers considered additional goals beyond health, taste, and convenience. The result is a framework of factors that consumers consider when specifically deciding to subscribe to a meal-kit delivery service. This study found that the overall perceived benefits associated with meal-kits outweighed the perceived costs associated with cooking a meal from scratch. Of particular interest was how consumers considered the increased participation required while cooking as an additional perceived benefit in this context.
This research contributes to the body of knowledge of consumer decision-making and provides industry stakeholders insight as to why meal-kit delivery services are adopted by consumers. This research provides a foundation for further research on the topic and makes recommendations to management of retailers and meal-kit providers.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.