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URGENT - PLEASE HELP! Q re 'meal kits'

(60 Posts)
BecauseImWorthIt Thu 27-Aug-09 10:04:55

Am struggling with a project at the moment where a client has specified that we need to talk (in research) to people who buy 'meal kits' - e.g. Old El Paso/Discovery Mexican kits.

I have two key questions:

1) why do people buy them?
2) apart from OEP/Discovery, are there any other kinds of meal kits?

I'd be really grateful if anyone could help - have to get a proposal written asap!


Cies Thu 27-Aug-09 10:07:21

I suppose most people buy them because they see them as a convenient and safe way to make a meal they might not usually make. As the spices come ready mixed and measured they don't have to worry about buying them separately.

Don't know any other kits, but there must be some out there. Try online supermarket?

mollyroger Thu 27-Aug-09 10:08:45

think asda do a own-version of a OEP meal kit, fajitas?

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Thu 27-Aug-09 10:09:29

actually, my sister buys them when they're on offer. she's a good cook, all that's in them are some spices and tortillas, pretty much. maybe a freaky bag of salsa as well. anyway, the spices are actually quite nice, and faaaaar too strong, so you get twice as much out of them if you buy some extra tortillas and add some fresh toms and cucumber to the salsa. she reckons it's a good deal under those exacting 2 for 1 circumstances.

i suppose you could make the case for those fresh meal kits that m&s and sainsbos etc do? the curries etc. m&s are doing a 1,2,3 steps thing with noodles as well, and branding up 'italian' meals so that you buy a sauce and a pasta pack and some garlic bread for a fiver or whatever, not quite the same thing, though, granted.

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 27-Aug-09 10:09:34

Thanks - anything other than Mexican?

I've tried Googling 'meal kits' but didn't get much

Why would people buy a kit as opposed to a ready meal though?

fishie Thu 27-Aug-09 10:10:12

vesta curry!
does pot noodle count?

mollyroger Thu 27-Aug-09 10:10:14

DH buys them when they are on special offer at supermarket, as he thinks £1 for the wraps and the spices is a good deal hmm
(we make our own salsa, much nicer)

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 27-Aug-09 10:11:04

We buy the El paso meal kits sometimes because:
1)we don't have mexican often enough to use a whole jar of salsa.
2)They are often on sale and work out to be cheaper than buying tacos/salsa/spices separately.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Thu 27-Aug-09 10:11:11

i think the reason that mexican meal kits survive is cos of their 'party food' feel. they're practically an event (for some reason). ariba ariba.

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 27-Aug-09 10:12:37

Client has a view (sorry, this isn't supposed to be a post by stealth!), that these things are bought to facilitate a social occasion as opposed to a normal meal at home. I don't really know if I agree with this.

Any thoughts?

(Thank you all by the way, this is so helpful I can't tell you)

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 27-Aug-09 10:13:20

ready meals are quite grim. And I like my meat to be local/ethical blah blah and I can stretch a small amount of meat with a whole lot of salad/veg/cheese.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Thu 27-Aug-09 10:13:44

i do, biwi. i just said that. wink

oopsacoconut Thu 27-Aug-09 10:14:11

DH buys then when he wants to make me a 'special' hmm meal. He recently bought an'Ainsley Harriot' Curry meal kit which came with spices, rice and bread mix. Needeless to say I ended up cooking it it wasn't too bad but not as nice as a homemade one.

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 27-Aug-09 10:14:47

We eat them at home on a friday night in front of the telly. It means that its a really laid back relaxed affair (as opposed to our usual sit at the table, eat properly meals)

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 27-Aug-09 10:14:56


That will be cross posts then, Aitch.

As in 'crossing' that is, not angry

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 27-Aug-09 10:15:39

Oh - didn't know about the Ainsley Harriot ones. Will Google ...

notamumyetbutoneday Thu 27-Aug-09 10:16:06

We buy the Old El Paso one when on offer as it does save having to think whether you have all the requisite spices etc. If not on offer then I either make my own spice mix or just buy the single sachet.

Pataks do an indian wrap range as well which i have seen advertised and always thought was a bit wrong to be honest- mexindian anyone?!

I would sort of agree about the social occasion thing- when we have friends over for a very casual supper then it is so easy to grab a fajita kit and not have to think about anyhting else except the chicken/veg. DH and I have eaten them alone though.

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 27-Aug-09 10:16:46

If I were to cook similar for a party I'd do that from scratch as we are much more likely to use up the salsa, jalepenos, sour cream etc when theres more than just the two of us.

haggisaggis Thu 27-Aug-09 10:18:16

The meal kits work out cheaper than ready meals - ameal kit can feed 3 -4 at least - whereas you would ned to buy several ready meals. Also you have some control over the ingrdients with a kit and can adjust spices etc. I but teh MExican kits ocasionally and can adjust the spices so they are not too hot.
Some supermarkest do a cook from fresh "kit" - ie you buy a pre-sealed pack containing fresh meat or fish with separate veg and sauec and then you cook it yourself accoridng to directions. Never tried them myself as again quantities look too small for more than 2 and so would work out too expensive so would prefer to make myself from scratch.

TrillianAstra Thu 27-Aug-09 10:20:20

We buy fajita kits, because it's generally a little bit cheaper than tortillas + spice mix + salsa onits own. Just for dinner, not for a social occasion.

I think the 'having people over' thing would be a feature of the type of meal rather than whether you made it from a kit or not. Fajitas are very sociable, and you put them together yourself so you don't have to cater for fussy people, they can choose what to put in their wrap. A kit for a different type of food wouldn't be so sociable.

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 27-Aug-09 10:21:29

I will admit to being a food snob blush - I would always cook stuff from scratch which is why I don't really get them!

ZippysMum Thu 27-Aug-09 10:21:41

I'm with kitten - would do a mexican from scratch if we had guests - sooooo yummy <<drool>>.

But I think maybe the meal kits are more of an 'easy Friday night dinner' option, maybe. A bit like the 'grab bags' of Indian / Chinese takeaway for 4 that lots of supermarkets do?

Also, we often have a stir-fry (we shop at Tesco) and they do this 3 for a pound each deal on the chopped veg, a sauce and noodles, mung beans, bean sprouts etc. Guess that could also be considered a 'meal kit'...

AMumInScotland Thu 27-Aug-09 10:22:16

If I buy things like that it's for convenience - I don't get through enough of those kinds of spices to be worth buying them in separately, and with a kit you know you have the whole lot in one go.

They have a much longer date than chilled ready-meals, so you can keep them in the cupboard and just buy the meat when you want to use them.

I'd be less likely to use them for a social occasion, as I'd more likely cook from scratch then.

I don't know if your "meal kit" brief is just about the longer-lif eones, but you might also consider the Chinese/Indian "meal for 2 in a bag" which Tesco do - meals and accompaniments all in one bag to save you having to think what to put together!

frasersmummy Thu 27-Aug-09 10:23:31

First few times we had fajhitas we werent sure what they comprised so we bought the kits

We soon learned that there's not too much to them and its cheaper to buy your ingrdients seperatly

We see fajhitas as a bit more of a socialable meal as we put all the fillings in the bowl in the middle of the table and we all share

mollyroger Thu 27-Aug-09 10:25:28

have to say if I was having people over for mexican feast (which we do sometimes as it's great for children) there is no way I would buy a kit! It's home made all the way, even down to home madE refried beans and guacamole!
(May I boast home-grown coriander, spring onions, tomatoes, lettuce and red onions too wink,)

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