The Belgian meal box market has tripled in 2020, a growth that is projected to continue. Which (old or new) players will seize power in this growing segment?
8.4 million meal boxes
According to market researcher Shopperware, Belgians have spent nearly 600 million euros on meal boxes last year, three times as much as a year earlier. This amount comes down to some 8.4 million meal boxes. "A big part in this huge hike was, of course, both lockdowns due to Covid-19 and the forced (and still ongoing) closure of all restaurants", researcher Dirk Vanderveken says in Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.
The Belgian market is dominated by two major players: "HelloFresh already had a market share of 27 % in pre-corona times, and it has now managed to conquer 42 % of the market." Belgian competitor Foodbag sold approximately three million boxes last year, earning them a market share of 29 %. The podium is completed by the "Simply You Box" of supermarket chain Carrefour, with a market share of 13 %.
The remaining 16 % is currently owned by smaller players such as Marley Spoon and Ekomenu. Nevertheless, the market is not completely saturated: "Even when the restaurants are allowed to open again, the market for meal boxes will continue to increase monthly by 7 to 8 %", Vanderveken says.
This expected expansion is demonstrated by the number of new initiatives launched in recent weeks. To name just a few, popular television chef Jeroen Meus will launch his own meal box, and HNGRY has just started with a box with artisan ready meals.