New World is responding to a growing trend for quick and healthy home-cooked dinners, allowing shoppers to get creative in the kitchen without the effort involved in planning and preparing a meal.
Just Cook It meal kits are prepared fresh in-store daily with pre-measured ingredients including meat or fish, vegetables, spices and sauces. Each week there are new recipes to try. The kits come with easy-to-follow recipe cards and start at $22.99 for a two-person serving.
“Everything you need is in the kit, aside from a few pantry staples such as oil and salt,” Group General Manager Marketing, Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd Steve Bayliss says.
The Just Cook It kits have been available since mid-February at New World Eastridge, Stonefields and Howick in Auckland, and are now available at Fresh Collective by New World on Constellation Drive. They are also available at New World Thorndon in Wellington. Thorndon also offers a delivery service. Foodstuffs South Island are trialling a similar meal kit called Love Food Box in select stores.
“So far we’ve trialled all sorts of Just Cook It recipes, from Salmon Spaghetti with Capers & Rocket, to BBQ Lamb Rump with Rustic Greek Salad. We’re now looking at some more adventurous, playful and kid friendly options,” Bayliss says.
“Just Cook It was born out of the desire to make dinnertime easy for time-poor Kiwis,” Bayliss says. “We wanted to help take the stress out of deciding what to have, and the time it takes to cook it. We’re all about helping real New Zealanders cook something tasty that doesn’t require any thinking time. We’ve done all the hard work for you.
“The kits have proven popular so far, particularly when we promote them to local customers through social media,” Bayliss says.
“New World Mt Roskill customers will be the next to see Just Cook It kits on the shelves, in mid-July. Shoppers at our refurbished Mt Albert store will also be able to get Just Cook It kits, when the Fresh Collective by New World store opens in Alberton Ave in late August. We hope to be able to roll this concept out to other stores in other parts of the country soon.”
The kits were created in response to research that shows how New Zealanders’ dinner-time habits are changing.
Foodstuffs asked 2,478 household shoppers from around the country to take a 20-minute survey, and conducted a parallel survey with 1,756 Foodstuffs panel members.
“What the research shows is that there are changing pressures that are reshaping how New Zealanders organise their lives and shop – specifically how they plan, purchase, prepare and eat dinner,” Bayliss says.
“Our dinner planning is becoming increasingly spontaneous as our busy and complicated lives make it difficult to be fully prepared. Supermarkets can play a key role in supporting these spontaneous dinner decisions,” Bayliss says.
“In an ideal world, people want to cook a dinner that is healthy; good quality and fresh; value for money and delicious. However our research shows that there’s a disconnect between what people want, and what they achieve at dinner time.
“What they actually cook tends to be something that tastes delicious and fills everyone up, is satisfying and value for money. The reason for that disconnect is the time and effort involved in preparing a healthy dinner. So we see an opportunity to help our customers by making healthy home-cooked meals that much quicker and easier. That is the premise behind our Just Cook It kits.
“The people feeling the most pain are people in the 25-34 age bracket, with young families in middle income households – particularly where both parents work. Dealing with dinner preparation and small children when you have limited time to spend together as a family is particularly stressful. The big problem for Kiwis is not willingness, it’s often inspiration,” Bayliss says.
“Think of Just Cook It as your friend in the kitchen. We’re here when you need us, ready to help you cook something easy and delicious.”
What the research shows
- Planning for dinner is often spur of the moment. When asked about their general approach, more than half demonstrate an unstructured dinner planning approach. Only 26% knew what they were having for dinner at the start of the day.
- Of the 74% of shoppers who decide their dinner on the day, 40% decide before 2pm, 32% decide between 2-5pm and 29% decide after 5pm
- 13% of shoppers (representing almost 200,000 New Zealand households) will shop for dinner on the day. Some will do this as part of a top-up shop (6%) while others are on a dinner-only shopping mission (7%)
However eating a fully prepared meal at home is still the norm.
- The great majority (93%) of dinner occasions still take place at home, involve the whole household (65% of occasions) and are created from scratch (72% of occasions).
- Those who eat at home spend 37 minutes on average, preparing and cooking their meal and 19 minutes on average cleaning up.
Dinner time is still very traditional:
- Of those who cooked at home, 26% ate before 6pm, 42% ate between 6 and 7pm, and 31% ate after 7pm.
- Of those that cooked at home, 36% cooked meat (or fish) and veg; 27% cooked an Indian or Asian meal (curry, stir fry); and 19% cooked something Italian (pasta, lasagna).
- In terms of protein choices, the dominant choices are chicken (32%) and beef (25%)