MBLM, the Brand Intimacy Agency focused on strategy, design, creative and technology, released the second edition of Field Notes, an initiative that explores brand relationships in the digital age through firsthand experience and assessments. This edition is a brand comparison of meal kit subscription companies including Plated, Hello Fresh, Home Chef and PeachDish. MBLM awarded PeachDish as the best overall online and off-line customer experience with superior personal touches, thoughtful packaging, a creative meal plan, and a clear brand story.

The four brands were tested and compared by MBLM’s team of creative professionals on criteria including narrative, check out, packaging, social presence, creativity and taste. The meal kits were delivered to the office, where the team reviewed the unboxing before dividing up meals to cook them at home. The team then regrouped to discuss thoughts and insights about each brand experience online and in the kitchen. Some of the high-level conclusions documented include:

  • PeachDish delivered on a compelling promise with adventurous food and a charming Southern brand.
  • Plated delivers a premium brand expression with a vibrant and engaging social media community that stood out more than its meals.
  • HelloFresh provides fresh ingredients for delicious meals, but overall it feels like the brand is only meeting category expectations—not redefining them.
  • Home Chef needs a little more spice and excitement, but they provide a superior cooking experience.

Sidney Blank, partner at MBLM, says, “Field Notes is a creative and fun approach for us to understand the relationships between brands and people. The meal kit category is interesting because these brands have to straddle the immediacy of on-demand digital, the do-it-yourself quality of home cooking and the desire for authenticity and provenance of farm-to-table.”

MBLM’s analysis concluded that some of the key ingredients for a successful meal kit brand include articulating a better story; providing an intuitive and flawless checkout experience; engaging with consumers on social platforms and making the packaging sustainable. MBLM’s Field Notes also include suggestions and improvements such as:

  • Broaden appeal by collaborating with other state cuisines (PeachDish)
  • Increasing the size of their portions (Plated)
  • Improving the checkout process (HelloFresh)
  • Defining a stronger brand narrative (Home Chef)

The first edition of MBLM’s Field Notes was a brand comparison of car-sharing companies. To view the Filed Notes, click here.

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