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HelloFresh sees meal kit demand surge as shift to online continues

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HelloFresh sees meal kit demand surge as shift to online continues
A woman looking at the HelloFresh app on a tabletHelloFresh

Meal kit delivery firm HelloFresh has seen a big jump in customer numbers as it continues to benefit from the trend of ordering food online seen during the pandemic.

HelloFresh said it had 7.3 million active users in the first three months of 2021, up 74.2% from a year earlier.

Its kits come with pre-packaged fresh ingredients and cooking instructions.

HelloFresh said was "confident" it would continue to benefit from the shift to online grocery shopping.

The company, which is based in Germany, said it was is seeing a similar rise in demand that food delivery services and supermarkets have seen through the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenues for the January-to-March period more than doubled from a year earlier to €1.44bn (£1.25bn).

The firm said that, just as consumers have been "adapting to new habits" such as online shopping, they have become more interested in using meal kits, rather than buying separate ingredients from supermarkets.

"2021 has set off to a strong start," said HelloFresh's co-founder and chief executive, Dominik Richter.

"I am confident that we will benefit disproportionately from the shift to increased online grocery penetration."

Mr Richter said the firm had continued to grow despite experiencing bottlenecks in its capacity to produce the meal kits "over the majority of 2020", particularly in its US market, which currently contributes more than half of its total revenues.

Since January, the firm has set up two new distribution centres in Texas and Georgia, as well as acquiring US ready-to-eat meal company Factor75.

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