Brands Fill the Restaurant Void with New Meal Kits

Between weddings, graduations, the 4th of July, birthdays, etc., summer always seems to bring a wide range of celebrations. But with indoor dining still closed across the United States, brands now have an opportunity to be a part of occasions that would normally involve going out to restaurants. Several food brands have chosen to launch creative meal kits to meet this new need for at-home parties.


Duncan Hines® has kids’ parties covered

Duncan Hines® has just released the Ultimate Baking Kit, a box set that includes three mixes, two tubs of frosting, and a variety of candy toppings. According to Delish, “while typical summer activities like community pools and day camps are closed this year, kits like these are a great way to keep the kids entertained.” The kits are currently available through Amazon Prime.


Auntie Anne’s® knows that you miss going to the mall

Auntie Anne’s DIY at-home pretzel making kits initially launched in April to celebrate National Pretzel Day, and they have stayed around due to popular demand. These kits produce 10 fresh pretzels and retail for $20 – not a bad deal, considering that an original pretzel from an Auntie Anne’s® location costs as much as $1.29 more per unit.


Taco Bell® helps consumers have an at-home Cinco de Mayo

Just before Cinco de Mayo, Taco Bell® launched a CPG soft taco making kit with Aldi. There was little promotion around the release, but eagle-eyed Instagrammers managed to generate a lot of excitement around the new product. Taco Bell® also started selling their ingredients in bulk at their stores so that consumers could assemble customized taco bars.


Decorating with Dunkin’®

For wannabe pastry chefs who have more fun decorating desserts than baking them, select Dunkin’® franchises started offering donut kits this past spring. The idea was sparked when a Dunkin’® employee asked to bring home ingredients for a fun and tasty project for her nephews, and franchisees across the country felt inspired by the concept. With children home from school and in need of activities to break up the boredom, these kits have connected with Dunkin’®-loving parents.

Meal kits are a way for brands to launch engaging and timely new products using their existing resources. For brand executives who are struggling with how to compensate for lost foodservice sales, at-home kits could be an avenue to stay relevant and connect with new consumers. They can also serve as a way to hold on to consumers who get used to eating at home, and may find that they actually prefer it even once indoor dining resumes.

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