International Association of Meal Prep Business Survey: Meal Assembly Stores Save Customers Money

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Meal prep stores help consumers with food costs, dinnertime "diversity," and healthy options.

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The International Association of Meal Prep Businesses (IAMPB) today released results from an international survey. The survey of 1,800 customers from 23 states and Canada found respondents enjoy greater diversity in the meals they eat at home, spend less time and money grocery shopping, less time preparing meals at home, and eat out less. For a service often perceived as a luxury, it is notable that most customers are spending the same or less on their overall food budgets

"As gas prices soar and the economy softens, people who haven't thought twice about their grocery bills have started to notice the impact these stores have on their budgets," said Leslie Hanna, IAMPB ( President. "In the first survey of its kind, we looked across multiple markets – from San Diego to Massachusetts, and gathered customer data from 18 different stores. What we heard is that our customers understand that meal assembly is a good bargain."

Over 48% of respondents have decreased their monthly grocery bill, while 46% have remained the same but can now provide healthier, home-cooked meals instead of eating out.

The meal assembly industry is evolving to take its place as an essential approach to dinnertime for tens of thousands of customers. While the core concept of customer do-it-yourself assembly remains, stores have added convenience services such as sale of pre-assembled meals and delivery in hopes of expanding their customer base. Customer feedback indicates that for a growing legion of customers meal prep is more than just a passing fad.

Customers look to meal assembly for more than economic benefit; they're drawn by the overall value proposition. Survey respondents identified the following primary benefits:

  • 76% - minimized time and effort spent planning, shopping and preparing meals;
  • 70% - more diversity in home cooked meals; and
  • 59% - eating healthier or less processed foods

Other key benefits: eating out or take out less frequently, less time spent grocery shopping, less stress and more time with family.

Fifty eight percent of customers report spending less time grocery shopping and 79 percent spend less time cooking. Customers reported spending 22.5 fewer minutes per day cooking meals prepared at a meal assembly store. These figures don’t take into account time saved planning meals and simplified clean up.

According to Hanna, "If you look at it from a purely economic perspective meal assembly stores make good financial sense. You get restaurant quality food, meal planning services, and substantial time savings. It all adds up to a good deal."

The IAMPB is an industry trade association that represents meal prep businesses around the globe. To find a member store in your area, visit:

Contact: Chris Roper
Email: c.roper @
Phone: 414-908-4941


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Chris Roper
Dinner Zen
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