A meticulously crafted menu. The freshest ingredients. And a set of cooking instructions?

For an increasing number of consumers, that’s exactly what they get — and what they’re looking for — by opting into meal kit delivery services. This popular e-commerce category mushroomed (pun intended) by 85% during the COVID-19 pandemic. While some customers turned to grocery delivery, others opted for meal kits that came with imaginative new recipes and all the right ingredients, some pre-prepped for convenience. Since that surge, the industry has continued to grow, reaching $8.7 billion this year. 

Meal kit delivery is the perfect combination of convenience, value and culinary satisfaction. Plus it’s easier than frequent grocery shopping at a more affordable price point than regular restaurant dining, and it’s super tasty. Service providers know that delivering a high level of customer satisfaction at each of these points is essential — and that ultrafast doorstep delivery with crowdsourcing is the secret ingredient that keeps subscribers coming back to the table. Here are four delicious reasons why:

Last impressions count 

Like that final drizzle of sauce, sprig of parsley or sprinkle of seasoning, even home chefs know that the final touch on a dish can make all the difference. For meal kit delivery, that final touch is on-time doorstep delivery. Meal kit ingredients require refrigeration, and while your packers include long-lasting cold packs in each box, those effects don’t last forever. 

Crowdsourcing with Roadie is an excellent option to make sure perishable meal kits arrive as fresh as when they left your packing facility. With a network of 200,000 independent drivers around the country, Roadie gives you access to a flexible fleet available for ultrafast deliveries whenever you and your customers need them. For cold-packed meal kits, these drivers can even accommodate delivery windows as short as two hours so you can maximize your cold time, reduce potential spoilage and keep customers happy. 

Delivery timing matters 

Any chef will tell you the secret to a great meal is the freshest ingredients. With shipping, the additional day or two it can take for a meal kit to make it from the fulfillment center to your customer’s door can make all the difference in freshness. Orders have to be delivered quickly and reliably so home chefs can eat well. With Roadie, you’re able to shorten time in transit for deliveries up to 100 miles from your fulfillment centers with an order batching algorithm that efficiently groups orders together into multi-stop deliveries for drivers. By batching orders and delivering with Roadie, you can get meal kits to front doors within hours of pickup instead of one to two days.

You can even leverage the new nationwide network of RoadieXD™ cross-docks to expand your footprint further, to 100 miles from each cross-dock facility while still ensuring orders are delivered the same day they are picked up. Fill trailers at your fulfillment center just as you would for parcel carriers, then RoadieXD™ handles the rest. Truckloads that arrive at RoadieXD™ cross-docks by early afternoon are sorted and delivered by end of day. 

Customer insights help you scale

The batching-and-routing benefits don’t stop at delivery ease. Using this feature can also help you get a handle on who and where your customers are, and you can easily scale as business continues to grow. 

First, get granular with your batching and routing. In the example above, we batched all Tuesday deliveries in one group, but what if you have multiple delivery windows and delivery five days a week? No problem. Roadie lets you set up as many batched-and-routed deliveries as you need to be effective, even if this means a morning, afternoon and evening route every day of the week.

Next, take a close look at those routes. Where do your customers live? Where could you be doing more business? By building that hub-and-spoke network, Roadie can help you scale up deliveries quickly and easily and grow your service areas. Whether you need additional coverage in a popular neighborhood, want to expand to a net-new ZIP code, or need to add another delivery day to round out the calendar, there are plenty of drivers ready to serve you and your customers. And scalability goes both ways. If customers pause their subscriptions during busy summer vacation months or during the holidays when they want to dine out or shop and cook for family, it’s easy to pull back on your weekly deliveries and ramp back up when things return to normal.

Delivery visibility builds confidence 

To top off the five-star meal kit experience, Roadie lets you give your customers more visibility into their deliveries, no matter how frequently or what time of day they expect them. For senders, Roadie offers delivery tracking through the API that lets customers see exactly where their box is on delivery day. Plus with full photographic chain of custody, both you and your customers can feel confident that their fresh ingredients are ready and waiting for them in time for dinner tonight. 

Recipe for success with Roadie  

Consumer interest in meal kit delivery services continues to rise, but the cooking can’t begin unless the great recipes and fresh ingredients they’re looking for arrive. With a large, on-demand crowdsourced delivery network, Roadie helps make sure every box gives your customers the satisfaction of on-time delivery, while giving you a chance to scale up your business as interest grows. 

Ready to elevate your meal kit delivery service? Reach out to Roadie today to make ultrafast last-mile delivery your favorite ingredient in your recipe for success.