Sequential Brands Group, who bought Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia last year, teamed up with Marley Spoon to launch meal kit delivery service under the name Martha & Marley Spoon.
The new service will be based on Martha Stewart’s recipes and existing Marley Spoon template. Subscribers of the meal kit delivery service will get a box including ingredients and Martha Stewart’s recipes. The box will be shipped to the door of the consumers and ingredients including meat, vegetables, and spices is pre-measured, so consumers could skip the supermarket part to cook a meal at home. Martha & Marley Spoon’s meal cost between $8.70 and $12 a serving, and the kit starts from $48 per week to $140 per week depending on the size of the box, whether it is for two people or a family. Cooking method is easy and it usually takes less than 40 minutes to cook the meal. Customers may find the kits in the social media accounts, magazines and TV shows of Stewart.
Martha Stewart tried all the rivals, including Blue Apron, Plated and Purple Carrot, before she signed on with Marley Spoon. Marley Spoon’s simple cooking instructions, reliable ingredients from suppliers like Pat LaFrieda meats and Murray’s Cheese attracted Martha Stewart and she began to talk with Marley Spoon about the deal eight months ago.
This deal is beneficial both to Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon. “It’s absolutely in keeping with my whole cooking philosophy,” says Stewart. “This way, (customers will) get a chance to really eat our food and not have to go shopping and buy all the ingredients and make all our recipes from scratch.” Marley Spoon could also benefit from the built-in fan base of Stewart, her recipes and also the star power.
In recent years, celebrity chef or big-name company joining the meal kit market is becoming popular. Stewart is not the only one who join a meal kit service company. Mark Bittman, former New York Times food writer and columnist, joined vegan delivery service Purple Carrot last year. Amazon also cooperated with Tyson Foods to launch meal delivery service.
However, according to NPD Group, only 3% of the U.S. adults tried the meal kit service in the past year. Price is a possible factor that hindered the development of the service. It is a good choice for people in metro areas like New York, especially for working people that has little time for cooking. In areas with lower cost of living, it is more difficult to carry out this service. According to a report of NPD Group, many subscribers gave up the subscription because of the high price. They also found that the cost of the kit is close to the cost of eating out. Convincing the customers that the price of the kits is worth the service will help the meal kit service become more popular.