A recent article on kansascity.com looked at the meal assembly environment – the quick burst to popularity, and then the harsher realities of a fading economy and the importance of having a loyal customer base. Opening in late 2005, the Overland Park Dream Dinners has weathered the storm by establishing their own customer loyalty program and implementing the corporate Made for You service and expanding it to include delivery to local companies.
“Both my husband and I like to cook but we just don’t have the time,” said lawyer Jill Frost of Overland Park, who has been a regular customer of the Dream Dinners for more than 18 months. “We go once a month, spend about an hour and have 11 to 15 meals. You just have to remember to thaw them out and then in 20 to 25 minutes you have a delicious dinner.”
In addition, Dream Dinners is planning a soft launch of their new diabetic eating program – Dinners for Life, which will reach out to a new customer base that could benefit from the Dream Dinners healthy meals and controlled portion sizes.
Also, on the coming menu — meals for special diets.
Dream Dinners, meanwhile, is planning a soft launch of Dinners for Life, meals for diabetics, in early September.
The biggest challenge? Overcoming the perception of cost. It’s a lot harder for people to spend $150-$200 up front as opposed to $15-$20 a day for 10 days.
Still, the industry has to fight a perception that meal assembly is a luxury. Seeing the cost of several meals all at once can be sticker shock but Leonard said consumers have to remember they are basically buying in bulk, much like they would at a wholesale club.
“One hundred eighty-two dollars, it takes a little salesmanship. But tell me what you spent for dinner for your family for the last 10 nights,” he said.