One of the largest recipe-kit delivery companies in the United States has started a new and unique promotional campaign that they hope will grab consumer’s interest. This free food promotion allows consumers to show uploaded photos of receipts from fast food chains and in exchange, receive the same dollar amount of free, healthy, and quick-to-prepare food.
Called “You’re Better than Takeout”, the goal of the sponsor, HelloFresh, is to encourage people to eat healthier but also strengthen the company’s existing customer base in a highly competitive and fast-growing category of fresh dinner kits that are home delivered. People can use receipts from virtually any fast food chain to include McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, and so on. As long as the dollar amount on the receipt is legible, regardless if there is grease or ketchup stains, it can be used.
New customers are required to submit receipts that go through a review and approval process. Once deemed legitimate, the individual will receive a special code from HelloFresh for free, healthy, and home-delivered food. On the very first order, new customers can get a $50 discount, which reduces to $19 thereafter. This means two people receive at least three meals at a cost of $69 for the first week.
According to Seth Goldman, CEO of the United States division of HelloFresh, the concept of the promotion is to get people to choose healthy foods but also, change lifestyle. Denise Lee Yohn, branding expert and author of What Great Brands Do, is not thrilled with the promotion. In her words, the process of collecting fasts food receipts seems somewhat complicated. She feels that people should not have to work so hard at reaping the benefits of a giveaway promotion.
All meal kits from HelloFresh come with fresh ingredients and the overnighted kits arrive on ice. HelloFresh kits are meals that have to be cooked but they eliminate last minute grocery shopping and come with detailed instructional cards. For consumers, the meal kits are more about spending less time at the takeout counter of a fast food chain and more time cooking in the kitchen at home.
Thanks to backing of Rocket Internet, a German startup incubator, HelloFresh has locations throughout Europe. For the US division, distribution centers exist in San Francisco and New York but the company has just expanded the delivery service to the rest of the United States. Combined, more than one million meals per month are distributed around the world.
While many people have no problem with the annual cost of HelloFoods’ kits, others do. Currently, three meals for two people per week costs $3,588 a year. However, as Goldman states, most people have no idea the amount of money they spend on fast food every year.
In the growing world of fresh food recipe kits, a major branding battle is going on. In addition to HelloFresh, other companies like Blue Apron and Plated are vying for customers. All of these companies are responding to two primary needs of affluent consumers, first, the desire to eat better food and second, to experience less hassle out of the home.
For instance, to prepare Lemony Chicken and Burst Tomato Linguine, one of the meals offered by HelloFresh, an individual would need to spend time at the grocery store, as well as time prepping and cooking at home. With the meal kit, everything comes premeasured and packaged to include chicken breasts, chili flakes, lime, green bell pepper, sweet onion, grape tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, and linguine pasta.
The greatest challenge is getting consumers to change habits. Goldman adds that not everyone is going to modify lifestyle but that most people have a genuine desire to eat healthier and cook more. HelloFoods makes both of those possible and with reduced aggravation.