SB: What demographic does Home Chef cater to the most? Is there an age group or other demographic that buys Home Chef kits more than others?
JENSEN: Home Chef doesn’t cater to just one demographic or consumer cohort, because we make meal solutions that fit varying cooking routines and lifestyles. Meal time decision makers can look different across households, and Home Chef has a variety of meal options that cater to many customers, from minimal-mess Oven-Ready meals to accessible Family meals, Culinary Collection meals for more adventurous cooks and our classic meal kits available both online and in Kroger banner stores nationwide.
Home Chef’s customer data supports this broader range of home cooks that enjoy our products, with customers between 24 and 55 years old showing strong demand for our meal solutions.
SB: How does Home Chef go about developing new products? What flavors are trending currently?
JENSEN: Home Chef has a culinary team dedicated to the ideation and creation of new, delicious recipes. Our chefs and menu strategists are always thinking of new recipes and ways to revamp favorites to make them even more delectable. They test and taste dozens of recipes a week, working collaboratively to determine what will work best on the menu from a culinary standpoint.
Home Chef uses a data-driven approach to guide recipe development for new products. When creating new recipes that are both delicious and easy-to-make, Home Chef’s culinary team has a number of factors to consider that go beyond just finding flavors our customers love. Those considerations include customer feedback, nutritional guardrails, number of ingredients and cookware needed, cook time, seasonal ingredients, difficulty level, and more. Home Chef also sends new products and recipes to a select group of customers to BETA test – this allows us to receive early feedback which our team incorporates into product development.
Currently, we’re seeing a variety of food trends based on customer feedback and recent popular meals on our menu. Our culinary team has been busy spicing up familiar favorites, and our customers are really enjoying our new ingredients that may not be pantry staples in their households, such as harissa which we have been adding to the menu with more frequency for smoky, spicy flavor. Home Chef’s Moroccan-Style Harissa Shrimp, one of the recipes that appeared on our online menu recently, received high ratings from customers who tried it.
We have also noticed increased demand for veggie-forward meals, which prompted us to increase the number of vegetarian meals on our weekly rotating menu from between one and two to six per week. Whether it's in the name of sustainability, health or taste preferences, our customers have asked for more vegetarian meals and we are developing more of those recipes to meet their needs.