HelloFresh says customers have flocked to subscribe to its meal kits during the coronavirus pandemic – and says it’s now expecting full-year turnover to grow by as much as 55%.
The company, which sends out regular boxes with all the ingredients and the recipe required to cook a meal, says that its active customer numbers grew by 68.4% year-on-year to 4.2m during the first quarter of its financial year. That included a sharp rise in sales during the second half of March, as customers started to stay at home and cook. Profit margins rose at the same time, reaching 9% across the group, which operates in 13 markets including the UK.
Dominik Richter, co-founder and chief executive of Berlin-based HelloFresh, said: “On top of our already very strong first two months of the year, our meals have attracted significant additional demand in the second half of March, as the global pandemic hit all of our markets in short order.
“Especially in those times, it makes us proud that we were able to deliver 111 million meals to families throughout the world, allowing them to enjoy incredible home-cooked meals from the safety of their homes at a very affordable price point.”
Across the group, order numbers grew by 65.9% to 14.7m during the first quarter, while 111.3m meals were delivered, up by 69.6% on last time. In the US market alone, 61.3m meals were delivered - up by 90.3% on last time, to 2.6m customers, 88.6% up on the previous year. Across its other international markets, including the UK, 50m meals – 49.6% more than last year – were delivered, while active customer numbers rose by 42.3% to 1.5m.
HelloFresh is raising its revenue expectations for the full year to between 40% and 55%, from between 22% and 27% previously. It expects that profitability will rise to between 6% and 10% of turnover at the same time, from between 4% and 5.5% previously.
The business has donated €3m to food banks throughout the pandemic, including €170,000 in cash and the rest in food.