Meal kits, another relatively recent food tech model, capitalize on consumers’ demands for fast and easy meals by sending them recipes and pre-packaged, pre-measured fresh ingredients for meals they can cook at home. Advertised as a healthy and economical alternative to pre-prepared food and restaurant takeout, meal kit startups operate somewhere between a restaurant, grocery store, and delivery service, with most being subscription-based.
With meal kit startups garnering attention from both consumers and investors worldwide, it comes as no surprise that the MENA region is already home to six meal kit startups, four of which are based in the UAE, and two of which are based in Egypt and Kuwait. Nearly identical in service, the startups differ only in pricing and meal plan offerings, and mainly target health-conscious millennials and young couples/families.
Food Subscription Boxes
Subscription boxes are nothing new to the startup world. In the past few years, subscription boxes have been one of the fastest growing trends in the startup world, and are still gaining in popularity. One of the most popular categories is food boxes, which unlike meal kits, tend to contain curated themed items hand-picked by the vendor.
With healthier niche foods taking offff in recent years, tailored food subscription boxes in MENA mainly cater to the region’s health-conscious residents and foodies, delivering everything from organic, ready-to-eat fruits and quality meats to healthy snacks and fitness supplements. Out of the 6 food subscription startups located in MENA, 5 are based in the UAE, and the region will most likely see more popping up in the near future.