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ThermaCycle™ Flex Supports a Burgeoning Meal Kit Delivery Market

Pregis’ ThermaCycle Flex supports a growing demand for meal kit delivery services with a sustainable, protective packaging solution.

Executive summary:

  • Meal kit delivery services, already on a growth path, have skyrocketed in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Some meal kit companies saw more than 100 percent growth during the second quarter of 2020.
  • Many experts project that the meal kit delivery market will continue growing even after the pandemic-era surge.
  • Pregis’ ThermaCycle Flex temperature-controlled bubble solution has become a go-to option for national meal kit distributors thanks to its reflective, metallic film, which prevents thermal transfer.
  • Thermacycle Flex not only protects meal kits, but it’s also made with sustainable materials that are 100 percent recyclable through in-store drop-off.

Meal kits aren’t a new concept. In fact, the delivery service has been around for more than a decade. But, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a newfound demand for fresh, shipped groceries started to skyrocket. As going to your local grocery store to grab everything on your weekly list became more difficult, people around the world searched for services that not only shopped for them but also taught them how to cook.

As profitability and membership among meal kit services surged, some companies even saw sales rise more than 100 percent compared to the year prior. Success has permeated into 2021, bolstering the top meal kit players’ subscriber bases. For example, HelloFresh reported a 74.2 percent increase in active users compared to 2020 during the first three months of the year. While it’s hard to predict what the future holds for meal kit services, it’s safe to say the market is viable and growing in the short term.


Protecting the Growing Meal Kit Market

A primary hurdle meal kit services face is finding the best method for delivering goods to consumers in their varied environments. A successful meal kit service must ship high-quality produce, grains, baked goods, and meat products to their customers in a way that guarantees the package arrives with food as fresh as if it were picked up at a local grocery store. One soggy, unseemly delivery could lose a subscriber for good.

That’s why national distributors protect their shipments with packaging like Pregis’ ThermaCycle Flex insulated packaging solution. This protective packaging is made from FDA-compliant materials certified for indirect food contact, sealing its contents off from external heat sources while simultaneously insulating the cool air inside the package.

ThermaCycle Flex produces at-scale packaging for meal kit delivery services nationwide, a rarity in the field. Companies honing their meal kit packaging methods can work with ISTA-certified packaging engineers at Pregis to analyze how Thermacycle Flex and other packaging will perform with their products.


Supporting a Sustainable Future

Keeping things eco-friendly while also providing an at-home meal kit delivery service can be a challenge. Meal kit services are continuously adapting more conscious practices, from introducing sustainable packaging materials to making local, specialized recycling services accessible to customers.

Pregis’ ThermaCycle Flex is a metalized, temperature-controlled bubble solution that’s category four recyclable. But Thermacycle Flex isn’t just recyclable after use — it’s also composed with 30 percent recycled content.

What’s more, the metalized, temperature-controlled bubble solution comes in a single-piece construction that lays flat during transport, increasing the quantity that can ship on a single truck and thereby lowering the overall carbon footprint.

Composed of metalized film and combined with a durable but lightweight bubble cushioning, ThermaCycle Flex can extend the life of perishable food items by reflecting 97 percent of all radiant heat, solar radiation, or UV light. Since it can keep perishable products cooler for a longer time than other alternatives, it can also reduce or eliminate the need for meal delivery companies to engage in costly rush delivery methods.

Pregis is committed to supporting a more circular economy and designed ThermaCycle Flex to be store drop off recyclable. This gives consumers a chance to reduce the amount of waste incurred from using meal delivery services without having to go the extra mile themselves.


Capitalizing on the Moment

The meal kit delivery market is becoming saturated with companies competing for a growing customer base. With increased competition comes an emphasis on innovation and differentiation. Since protective packaging is responsible for creating a customer’s first impression, getting this part right is paramount to growing a successful subscription business.

Pregis offers a large, national footprint for meal delivery companies preparing to scale to increased demand. With speedy but reliable lead times and an in-house ISTA testing and packaging lab, Pregis engineers can all but guarantee they find the right packaging solution to fit the needs of a growing market.

As meal kit delivery services improve their packaging for more sustainability and efficiency, Pregis will continue to help them push the envelope even further and create long-lasting channels for groceries and home cooking.

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