March 25, 2024

TF #040: Feast Without Fuss: Revolutionizing Holiday Gatherings with Large-Format Meal Deliveries

TF #040: Feast Without Fuss: Revolutionizing Holiday Gatherings with Large-Format Meal Deliveries

Feast Without Fuss: Revolutionizing Holiday Gatherings with Large-Format Meal Deliveries

The most successful heat-and-eat meal delivery services are the ones that lean into the always-evolving tastes of their audiences—especially during particularly busy times of the year.

For several mainstream meal delivery services, that subscriber-first focus has led to a fresh new opportunity to help people navigate holidays and get-togethers. From one-off ordering to family-style meals, the industry has responded. And now, we’re seeing another twist: more and more heat-and-eat meal delivery services offer large-format holiday meals available to subscribers and, in many cases, new prospects.

As a convenient alternative to costly catering, these options quickly reshape how people celebrate their most cherished traditions. As we approach festive occasions like Easter and Passover, it’s an opportune moment for heat-and-eat meal delivery services to contemplate incorporating this innovative offering into your offerings.

The Growing Appeal of Large-Format Holiday Meals

Holiday gatherings are important. Not only are these opportunities to bring family and friends together, but holidays are a chance to bring back favorite recipes and traditions from the past. The only challenge? Making it all happen—and sacrificing time hosts could be spending enjoying with their loved ones.

This is where heat-and-eat meal subscription services come in, offering a convenient solution delivered directly to subscribers’ doors. 

A New Tradition in the Making

These holiday offerings are still relatively new. While different companies, from FreshDirect to HelloFresh to Blue Apron, offer large-format holiday meals feeding four to 24, there’s still ample room in the marketplace to dive in. Exploring the landscape, you’ll quickly see the diverse offers, from set menus to build-your-own-style packages to meas catering to unique diets—vegetarian and vegan menus or even “sides only” options. In some cases, packages come with recommended add-ons—dessert recipes, wine pairings, music playlists, and more- designed to take the stress out of holiday preparation, cooking, and entertaining. 

This built-in flexibility is key to successful large-format holiday meal delivery. If you’re exploring this route, consider how to lean into this desire for flexibility while still aligning with your business model. If you plan to roll out holiday meals for Easter, you might consider a classic ham or lamb dish with all the trimmings—or, if that’s not aligned with your audience and your brand, going in a different direction. Whether it’s a plant-based Easter dinner or a more contemporary twist on tradition, you know your audience, your brand, and what your subscribers will respond to. The same goes for Passover. If yours isn’t a Kosher kitchen, consider offering Kosher-style meals, whether traditional brisket, chicken, matzo ball soup, kugels, or a unique take that best appeals to your audience. 

Key Considerations for Launching Holiday Meal Service

For heat-and-eat meal delivery services, venturing into large-format holiday meals opens a new revenue stream and a chance to diversify offerings. It also positions these businesses as integral to their customers’ most important moments, fostering deeper connections and loyalty. This service also appeals to a broad demographic, from busy families and working professionals to older adults who may find the task of holiday meal prep challenging. By catering to these varied groups, businesses can expand their market reach and tap into new customer segments.

Transitioning into or starting a large-format holiday meal service requires careful planning and execution. The cornerstone of this service needs to be a well-curated menu that respects the traditions and tastes of the holidays it aims to serve. This involves selecting the right dishes and ensuring that they can be prepared, packaged, and delivered in a way that maintains their quality and freshness.

To that end, using high-quality, seasonal ingredients is crucial for creating special and festive meals. Additionally, the preparation must be meticulously managed to ensure that dishes can be easily reheated without compromising their texture or flavor. Special attention also must be given to packaging to ensure that meals arrive intact and aesthetically pleasing. This might involve innovative packaging solutions that are both functional and festive. It’s also important to consider the delivery logistics, which must be carefully orchestrated to handle the increased volume and size of orders, ensuring timely and safe delivery.

For many heat-and-eat meal delivery services, this means scaling kitchen operations to accommodate large-format meals, even if these are just seasonal shifts. This might involve hiring additional staff, expanding kitchen space, or investing in equipment that can handle larger volumes. Be sure you’re prepared and able to deliver without blowing through your bottom line. 

That, though, is just a piece of the strategy and planning. Before worrying about shipping and delivery, you need to engage new and existing customers, drumming up awareness of and excitement for your holiday menus. Marketing these offerings requires a strategy highlighting the convenience, quality, and tradition these meals bring to the holiday table. This could involve targeted social media campaigns, email marketing, and partnerships with local communities and organizations. Offering early bird specials or incentives also encourages early orders, helping businesses manage workload and logistics more effectively. This also creates a sense of urgency, prompting customers to act quickly.


As Easter and Passover approach, the timing couldn’t be better for heat-and-eat meal delivery services to explore or expand their large-format holiday meal offerings. These in-demand menus cannot only fill a market gap but also offer a way to deepen customer relationships and grow your business. In doing so, you’re not just serving meals; you’re serving memories, convenience, and deliciously fun experiences wrapped in the warmth of holiday tradition. By embracing this model, businesses can meet the changing needs of consumers, offering a blend of convenience, quality, and tradition that enriches the holiday experience. With careful planning, execution, and marketing, this innovative service can become a cornerstone of holiday celebrations, bringing families and friends together over delicious, stress-free meals.

Related blog posts