Three Ways to Grow Your Ready-Made Meal Business
Build your business with customized offerings and subscriptions

Ready-made meal businesses are big business, and it’s no secret why: busy people love the convenience of high-quality, fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step recipes delivered direct to their door. Big brands, like Trifecta Nutrition, YouFoodz or Hello Fresh are competing for these customers.

If you have a small, local business that wants to compete with national -- even global -- meal delivery companies, you can take advantage of your own niche, specialities and strengths. Maybe it’s in your interactions and relationships with customers, or close connections with local providers, but you also need a website experience that’s on par with the big brands!

We, of course, recommend Shopify and its ecosystem of amazing apps which allow you to create an intuitive and unique shopping experience for your visitors. 

In this post, we highlight three strategies you can use to grow your ready-made meal business, as well as three apps that can help you build your business and increase your revenue: Product Options and Subscriptions by Bold Commerce, and Exportify to manage all of your orders and stay organized.

  1. Customize with YOUR customers in mind

    While you are likely already offering personalized meals to some degree, open up new channels by adding Product Options to your Shopify site.

    Look at Icon Meals as an example. They use Product Options to allow customers to customize their meals by protein, vegetable, carb and their respective portion sizes.

    So what?

    The ability to choose precise ratios can open up new channels for your store. This level of precision appeals to dietitians, nutritionists and other health practitioners, as well as customers who are concerned about their macros. Instead of having a generic customer profile of “busy people”, you can target your marketing to those who appreciate this customization the most.

    Health practitioners will be able to confidently refer their clients to your company knowing that you deliver calculated portion sizes to help people with weight management.

    A new customer audience of active gym-goers, bodybuilders and athletes can now choose to skip their gruelling Sunday night meal-prep process and use your service instead.

    Note: while it’s a good idea to offer a range of options to the consumer, it also has to be manageable for you. So, if you choose to implement this option on your store, don’t forget to install Exportify to better organize your order exports.

  2. Create thoughtful, customizable gifts

    Better your customer’s shopping experience by creating customizable gifts for the holidays, people who are in grief or celebrating a life event. While flowers might be the traditional option for gift-giving, a thoughtful bundle of meals goes a lot further, especially for someone getting out of the hospital, having a newborn, moving into a new house or losing a family member. In tough or busy times, every little bit of help is greatly appreciated.

    How will this help your business grow?

    An easy-to-use gift-giving service with a personal touch will spread positive word of mouth in your community, resulting in more customers coming back to you for their gift-giving needs. 

    Ordinary Gift Cards (included in Shopify) don’t add the same personal touch that is important when sending a gift, but Product Options (again) does!

    Below, you can see this in action. Callia Flowers takes their gifts one step further by giving customers the ability to choose a card alongside the flower arrangement. Additionally, you can specify who it’s going to, which isn’t possible in the Shopify Checkout. 

    Note: more options mean more complicated orders. Ensure you receive each and every custom preference chosen by your customer. Exportify integrates with Product Options to export orders from Shopify in whatever format you need.

  3. Reward your best customers (and set up a predictable revenue stream!)

    Last, but certainly not least, we recommend using Bold Subscriptions to create recurring revenue while offering a choose-your-own meal selection on your site. 

    People like going to restaurants, and ordering their favourite menu items. For your business, however, you don’t want people to just buy a single item; you want them to buy multiple items to maximize their order value. Average order value is really important for your company because it allows you to confidently spend more to acquire customers.

    As an incentive, for example, you might want to offer bundles of five, ten and twenty, with appropriately-scaled discounts for each level. 

    You can use Bold Subscriptions’ Build-a-Box functionality to let your customers select their individual meals within a predetermined box size of any number of meals you choose, which they can edit each month before a cut-off date. 

    Your customers will love the flexibility of being able to choose the number and types of meals they want. They’ll also appreciate the convenience (and the discount). And you will love the predictable stream of income, as their subscription can be automated to provide revenue at the same time each month.


    In these busy times, the growing ready-made meal sector is a smart one to be in, already valued by the busy customers who need to eat well in less time. By adding any or all of these strategies to your ready-made meals’ Shopify platform, you can share your great product with more people, in a more customized, personal and manageable way. 

    Able Sense. We’re Shopify experts for Ready-Made Meal Businesses. Start your customized Ecommerce Action Plan here.