Meal kits beat groceries in emissions head-to-head

Meal kits beat groceries in emissions head-to-head (World Economic Forum)

  • Since 2012, meal kits service providers such as HelloFresh (latest note & initiation) have taken customers from supermarkets; however, they have long had a bad environmental reputation. To date, there has been little study on the environmental impact of meal kits but a recent study has found that across the lifecycle of these products, meal kits have a smaller footprint than supermarket meals.
  • The study looked at a number of stages in the lifecycle; agricultural production, packaging productions, distribution, consumption and waste. On average, meal kits have 33% less GHG emissions than grocery meals.
  • The reasoning came down to food waste, the supermarket supply chain structure and packaging.

Analysis & Comments

  • I was initially a bit surprised by this, until I read the detail a bit more.
  • The big differences are around having to buy more of an ingredient in a supermarket than you need for a meal & supermarket practices around how they display food – which when you think about it that way it makes sense.
  • These differences more than offset the higher packaging element – so how long before they start selling meal kits not just on convenience but as a way of saving the planet?

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