Prepared meal plans show a significant increase during the pandemic

Alaska Dinner Factory reports 30% increase in membership
Meal prep companies across the nation report jump in business during the pandemic  (Aegis Elite...
Meal prep companies across the nation report jump in business during the pandemic (Aegis Elite Nutrition)(KOTA)
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 4:34 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - From Alaska, and throughout the Lower 48, new approaches to meal preparation have emerged and, in some cases, led to increased business and profits.

According to the business website Smart Brief, prepared meals, such as meal kit companies, are seeing a major increase in customers. In the case of HelloFresh, Smart Brief reports it’s been an increase of about 90%.

In Anchorage, the Alaska Dinner Factory is seeing a significant rise in its prepared, ready-to-serve meal plan. According to owner Linnea Cummings, since last year the pandemic related boost in business has increased its delivery club membership by 30% while providing four new full-time positions.

“Keeping my employees working. It was my greatest relief when I realized we were an essential business both for keeping my employees working and then also being able to still provide food for our ADF families,” Cummings told Alaska’s News Source.

Cummings credits the company’s 2016 change in business model with the current success. The shop shifted totally to a delivery club and no longer allowing customers to come in and prepare their own meals. That would not have been allowed during the pandemic and, now because of the pandemic, customers are looking for safe and creative ways to feed their families.

“I was looking for a way to avoid the grocery store and this is a once a month delivery so that worked out better for me,” customer Kendall Merry adds. “It kept me out of the grocery store. It was touch-free they came to the door they dropped it off and they left.”

For about five bucks a serving, he and other customers said it’s also cheaper than what they would normally buy and prepare at home.

“I figure with what I spend on takeout and fast food I can have some real food ... and it’s already prepared,” customer Ginger Mills said.

The customers say they will continue to use the service, even after the pandemic. After discovering the convenience, it would be tough back.

“I think that customers have realized how easy it is to get food and they appreciate the fact they‘re not having to do the grocery shopping, and the assembly and chopping the ingredients and all the items are there ready for them,” says Cummings.

The mission, according to Cummings, is to get families back to the dinner table. And in this case, it’s also helping to keep another local company in business during changing times.

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