Marley Spoon boss Rolf Weber says Australians are hanging onto their meal kit subscriptions, but they are also switching to budget pre-made food brands in another sign of penny-pinching among cost-conscious shoppers.
Weber said better customer retention rates and larger-value orders at Marley Spoon are a sign of strengthening consumer confidence, although he says the meal provider’s most affordable brand, Dinnerly, is becoming more appealing as the economy slows.
“Marley Spoon customers who see value in meal kits but may have to tighten the belt a notch, we see them moving to Dinnerly,” Weber said.
“They still get great value food, high-quality ingredients, but it’s a little bit simpler where we can offer [a] different value price point.”
Weber will look to expand Dinnerly’s ‘saver’ meal range that he said was seeing higher customer adoption. In April, Marley Spoon implemented a price freeze on Dinnerly’s subscription rates until the end of September, though the chief executive hinted at an extension.
“[The price freeze] certainly has been very well accepted, and while we may not put an official number to it, we will continue to hold our prices which we’ve been holding now for over a year,” he said.
“We are very confident that we won’t be increasing prices. If anything, we probably give something back to the customer, be it more on the plate, or lower cost.”
Climbing interest rates and inflation over the past 18 months have seen Australians shut their wallets to major retailers like Myer and flock to Kmart and Target instead, making retail bosses like JB Hi-Fi chief Terry Smart wary about further challenges in the trading environment ahead.
The trend of ‘trading down’ has seen people opt for private label brands at the supermarket and move from dining out to eating at home.
“[Customers] are telling us they are reducing spend on things like visits to the hairdresser and beauty services, entertainment, and gifts. Eating out, takeaway and coffees from the cafe are increasingly being seen as treats for a special occasion,” Coles chief executive Leah Weckert said last Monday.
“Unsurprisingly, they are looking for more specials, more affordable brands, and more affordable cuts of meat. Many of them are meal planning, stretching out the time between purchases of less urgent items such as cleaning and household items. And they are looking to catalogues, loyalty programs, and in-store markdowns to make their budgets go further,” she added.
At the same time, supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths have flagged double-digit spikes in shoplifting, a trend happening around the globe.
NAB chief executive Ross McEwan said the bank was seeing many people budgeting for the first time and saving $300 on average a month.
“A story close to home at NAB – in our offices we’re seeing long queues at the complimentary coffee machines as our colleagues swap a $5 takeaway for a free office brew. Nobody was using these machines a year ago! But I am delighted they want to be back in the office, so no complaints,” McEwan said in a speech last Thursday.
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Source: Thanks smh.com