January 1, 2024

TF #028: Fresh Ideas for 2024: Unique Promotional Strategies for Heat-and-Eat Meal Subscription Services

TF #028: Fresh Ideas for 2024: Unique Promotional Strategies for Heat-and-Eat Meal Subscription Services

Fresh Ideas for 2024: Unique Promotional Strategies for Heat-and-Eat Meal Subscription Services

Ready to spice up your marketing calendar in 2024? Then don’t be afraid to lean into traditional promo periods—and create high-impact marketing moments unique to your brand. From holiday rushes to quirky foodie days, we’ve rounded up a smorgasbord of creative ideas to keep your customers hungry for more all year round. 

#1. Back to School: Easy and Nutritious Meal Solutions

Why it’s timely: As families readjust to school schedules, there’s a growing need for quick, nutritious meals.

Promotion: Offer a “Back to School” special with easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly meals. Bundle these with healthy snack options to appeal to busy parents seeking convenient dinner solutions.

#2. New Year’s Resolutions: Aligning with Health Goals

Why it’s timely: The New Year is synonymous with health and fitness resolutions.

Promotion: Launch a “New Year, New You” campaign featuring a line of low-calorie, nutrient-dense meals. Consider partnerships with fitness influencers or gyms for cross-promotional opportunities.

#3. National Peanut Butter Day (March 1): Celebrating Comfort Foods

Why it’s timely: Foodie days like National Peanut Butter Day can spark interest and engagement.

Promotion: Introduce peanut butter-themed dishes for a limited time—and be sure to think outside the box—Thai Chicken Pasta, Peanut Butter Broccolini, or Chicken Mole (with a twist…), for starters. Engage customers through social media contests or recipe sharing, celebrating the versatility of peanut butter.

#4. Spring Renewal: Embracing Seasonal Produce

Why it’s timely: Spring symbolizes renewal when fresh produce should be the star of the show.

Promotion: Highlight spring vegetables in your meals. Run a “Spring Flavors” campaign focusing on the freshness and variety of the season, perhaps with a rotating weekly menu. Be sure to call out exactly where the produce comes from, too—know food is fresh, local, and supporting the extended community can be a major draw for subscribers and prospects. 

#5. National Garlic Day (April 19): Flavorful and Healthy

Why it’s timely: Garlic is loved for its flavor and health benefits, making this a great day to engage customers.

Promotion: Create special garlic-infused meals, with plenty of fresh takes on classic favorites or other recipes designed to inspire. But don’t stop there. Offer educational content on the health benefits of garlic and cooking tips to engage your audience. It could be as simple as a blog post, webinar, or drop-in for key audiences.

#6. Summer Slump: Revitalizing Interest

Why it’s timely: Summer can be a slower season for meal subscriptions as people vacation and dine out more.

Promotion: Introduce a “Summer Adventure” series with exotic, travel-inspired meals—favorites from classic go-to’s and, even, far-flung regions. And beyond that, be sure to offer flexible subscription options to accommodate vacation schedules. Your customers will thank you when they come home to a defrosted box of food after a long day of travel. 

#7. Acorn Squash Day (September 7): Celebrating Autumn’s Arrival

Why it’s timely: This day marks the beginning of fall, a time when people crave warm, comforting dishes.

Promotion: Feature acorn squash in various dishes. Host an online cooking class or share recipes that showcase different ways to enjoy acorn squash.

#8. Halloween: Spooky and Fun Meal Ideas

Why it’s timely: Halloween is a festive time when families look for fun and convenient meal options.

Promotion: Offer Halloween-themed meals or “spooky” snacks. Engage families with a costume contest or a virtual Halloween party with a cooking demonstration, blog, or how-to card, to add even more value.

#9. Thanksgiving Lead-Up: Stress-Free Holiday Preparations

Why it’s timely: The weeks before Thanksgiving are hectic, with many seeking time-saving solutions.

Promotion: Provide “Thanksgiving Prep” meal kits that simplify holiday cooking. Consider offering traditional dishes with a twist to stand out. Alternatively, lean into the “bonus” meals subscribers will need during the holidays—breakfast or brunch food, lighter lunches, and add-ons to make leftovers fun and flavorful could be a big win this time of year. 

#10. End-of-Year Reflection: Comfort Food Classics

Why it’s timely: As the year winds down, there’s a nostalgic pull towards comfort foods.

Promotion: Curate a menu of classic, heartwarming dishes. Pair this with storytelling, sharing the origins or personal stories behind these meals. Another approach? Offer up the top five to 10 meals of the year to celebrate customer favorites, with anecdotes about how they ranked and some of the customer feedback received. 

#11. Winter Wellness: Boosting Immunity

Why it’s timely: Winter is when people focus on staying healthy and boosting immunity.

Promotion: Launch a “Winter Wellness’” menu featuring meals rich in vitamins and minerals. Collaborate with health experts to create informative content on what to eat to beat the cold weather blues. Consider meals packed with warm chilis, soups, and stews, cozy pressed sandwiches, hearty pasta bakes, and more—iron- and protein-rich foods that support healthy immune cell growth and function.

#12. National Soup Month (January): Warming and Wholesome

Why it’s timely: January’s cold weather makes it ideal for enjoying warm, comforting soups.

Promotion: In the same vein as healthy winter foods, consider a soup and stew roundup, including a different soup each week of January. Encourage customer participation by allowing them to vote for their favorite soups to be featured.

#13. Valentine’s Day: Romantic Dinner for Two

Why it’s timely: Couples look for special, convenient ways to celebrate this time of year—and not everyone wants to go out. 

Promotion: Create a romantic meal package for two, with a dessert and a small gift. Offer customization options to add a personal touch—partnering with a florist, for example, or a wine delivery service can add a little boost to your meal package and ensure it’s easy for people to plan the perfect date without the heavy lift. 

#14. Earth Day (April 22): Sustainable Eating

Why it’s timely: Environmental awareness is high, and many want to make sustainable choices.

Promotion: Highlight meals that use locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. Educate customers about your service’s eco-friendly practices and how that’s played out—for example, a box insert highlighting your carbon footprint and plans to get to zero, how much waste you’ve saved from landfills, and more. 

#15. Slow Summer Days: Keeping Engagement Alive

Why it’s timely: With general slowdown in summer, keeping subscribers engaged is crucial.

Promotion: Introduce a summer loyalty program. Offer regular orders or referral rewards, keeping subscribers engaged during slower months.


That’s just the beginning. Start experimenting and see what resonates with your audience—then comment below and let us know. 

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