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How to start a meal prep business ?

The online meal and kit delivery industry is anticipated to achieve a growth of $25 million by the year 2027.

Meal and Prep Business

As the demand for meal prep services continues to rise, numerous businesses have entered the industry. With market projections indicating an upward trajectory in the coming years and technology evolving to meet the dynamic demands of the market, initiating a meal and prep business is a strategically sound choice.

Here's your ultimate guide to understanding how to start a meal prep business in today's time.

Step 1: Conduct Market Research 

The initial step involves comprehensive research of the market landscape. This encompasses understanding the geographical scope, comprehending the ideal target personas, and gaining insights into direct and indirect competitors in the market. This in-depth market research is instrumental in providing a profound understanding of the business landscape, current trends, competitor strategies, and the potential scope of your venture within the existing ecosystem. On Completing your market research, you will gain the clarity needed to articulate:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the active competition in the market
  • Latest trends of meal prep business 
  • A robust business plan
  • Short-term and long-term goals

Step 2: Select the Business Framework  

During the planning phase, businesses must select a suitable business model for their meal and prep venture. Companies can choose the one that aligns with their goals among the diverse and popular business models available. For a better understanding, here are a type of the different business models available in the market:

The meal-kit delivery model 

In this business model, consumers can request meal kits on an on-demand basis or through a subscription service. With subscriptions, customers can specify the frequency of kit deliveries per week, and the business fulfills these requests accordingly.  The subscription-based segment accounted for 60% of the total meal kit business.

Goal-Oriented meal delivery model 

Many consumers seek special diets and health goals. They look for customized meals featuring carefully selected ingredients, characterized by extended preparation times. The goal-oriented meal delivery model addresses the needs of consumers with special dietary requirements by offering week- or month-long subscription plans for meal deliveries. Meal subscriptions cater to specific health goals and tend to be more cost-effective than placing one-time orders on generic food delivery platforms.

Pre-cooked Storable meal delivery model 

While meal-kit delivery and goal-oriented meal delivery models provide convenience and flexibility, they may not be the top choice for individuals with demanding schedules. Busy professionals and solo-living students often find it challenging to be consistently available at their residential addresses to receive regular deliveries of meal-kits containing various raw ingredients. 

As a result, they often lean towards the convenience of pre-cooked frozen meals, including Ready-to-eat salads,Frozen stir-fry meal, Grilled chicken strips, Microwaveable pasta dishes, Pre-packaged sandwiches, Frozen vegetable medleys, Pre-cooked soups and stews and many more. 

Tailoring your choice based on preferences and ideal persona mapping within your operational area, you have the flexibility to select any of the business models. In today's business landscape, where technology plays an integral role, you also have the option to seamlessly integrate one or all of these business models into your venture.

Steps 1 and 2 are crucial for establishing the foundation of your business planning. Moving forward, the following steps outlined below will guide your business through the execution phase.

Step 3: Procure the Licenses 

Tailoring to geographical specifications, state regulations, and food laws, businesses must secure specific licenses and permissions to initiate meal prep delivery operations. It's important to note that these licenses may vary based on the chosen business model and the type of location selected for operations.

Additionally, the official registration establishes credibility and trust with customers, suppliers, and partners. It enhances the business's reputation, making it more appealing to potential clients and investors. Furthermore, compliance with regulatory requirements demonstrates a commitment to operating ethically and responsibly, contributing to long-term sustainability and success.

Step 4: Incorporate Technological Solutions 

Selecting the appropriate technology is a critical aspect of establishing your meal prep business operations. Given the order-to-delivery business model, integration with systems for order capture, dispatch management, route optimization, payment reconciliation, delivery tracking, fleet management, and seamless payment processing becomes imperative for efficient and streamlined operations.

Once you have the comprehensive technology in place, your business can grow, excel, and expand its operations in the market seamlessly, making the processes easier and more convenient.

Related: Read here to understand the role of technology in handling meal prep business operations.

Step 5: Launch the Business

The launch phase involves making your presence known in the market through various digital and offline promotional strategies. Harness the power of customer advocacy to reach new audiences and promote your meal prep business effectively.

Getting Started with Technology  | DispatchOne 

Given the significant influence of technology on today's businesses, it is crucial to integrate technology at a granular level. In this specific business type, where convenience and speed are of utmost importance, delivery operations stand as a robust pillar. Initiating with a delivery management software becomes essential to propel the growth and success of your meal prep business in the market.

DispatchOne is an innovative and agile dispatch management platform designed to empower businesses of any scale, streamlining, optimizing, and fostering the growth of your meal prep business. Packed with built-in features, DispatchOne enables companies to enhance their functional operations continuously.

To know more about DispatchOne and its role in adding value to your meal prep business, feel free to get in touch with our experts.