Over the last 13 years, Sera Cuni has sold tens of thousands of weekly to-go meal kits right through the front doors of the Root Cellar in Chapel Hill and Pittsboro, North Carolina. These scratch-made, locally sourced dinners – such as mojo pork tacos with refried beans and brown rice, or braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables – have built a following among fans of the 21-year-old institution.
Busy families. University students. Young professionals. They all line up for them. So what advice does she have for operators thinking of supplementing their dine-in business with grab-and-go and deliverable meal kits, at a time when ease and convenience are driving consumer decisions more than ever?
“I would say watch out for Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, because they’ve taken a big hit out of the market,” she says. With experience comes wisdom. According to industry consultants Pentellect, the $2.2 billion meal kit industry will grow 25 to 30% by 2022.
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