Meal boxes in Belgium

By Jessica Ruelens
mealboxes Belgium

In this report we take a closer look at the Belgian meal box market. How has the market share of the different suppliers evolved? What is the impact on other food purchases? Which supermarkets are suffering most from the rise of meal boxes? Who uses meal boxes?

The corona crisis is having an impact on the meal box market: restaurants were closed for months, people preferred to avoid supermarkets and families had little time or inspiration to put a varied meal on the table every day. 

The Belgian meal box market has experienced solid growth in 2020. The share of meal boxes in the total average family budget has more than doubled compared to 2019. This is largely due to the number of users doubling. And these users are situated more than average among the 30-44 year olds.

In this expanding market, there are more and more smaller players who take a proportionally larger share of the cake. Market leader HelloFresh saw its market share decline from 77.7% at the beginning of 2020 to 52.8% in March 2021.

The share of meal boxes within total food purchases increased from only 0.8% in January 2020 to 1.8% in March 2021. If we look only at supermarket purchases, the share has grown even faster: from less than 1% in January 2020 to 2.4% in March of this year. Within the top 10 supermarkets, this even increased to 2.9%.

An analysis of the anonymized and aggregated transaction data of users of the Cake app can provide accurate insights into actual consumer behavior, and its evolution.

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