Top Chef Meals: A Case Study

Written by Kellie Quain, Digital Media Manager

It is no secret that the last year has changed the way individuals see and engage with the world at large. Society has begun to cross over a collective threshold and now demands more from the content and messages it consumes. Brands are being held to a higher standard and are required to form and nurture real connections with their audiences. At MSM DesignZ, we work with countless companies whose goal is to utilize a robust digital marketing strategy in order to establish a relationship with their audience. We have proudly guided our client, Top Chef Meals, in doing exactly this throughout the entirety of our partnership. The company not only delivers customers fully cooked, chef-prepared meals, but more importantly, offers them the opportunity to feel great and regain control of their time throughout the day. When Top Chef came to us in 2017 and expressed their dissatisfaction with their current digital presence, we were certainly up for the challenge. Among their top concerns was determining a way to effectively show customers that the brand is unlike any other meal delivery service on the market. Once we identified the many USPs (unique selling points) Top Chef offered, including fully customizable meals, free shipping options, and a wide variety of specialty diet options, we began to tailor a curated digital marketing strategy in order to successfully engage their target audience. 

Upon a mere scroll of their Instagram account, a user is quickly able to decipher who Top Chef Meals’ target audience is today. The company speaks directly to individuals who lead busy lifestyles but want more from their dinner than what a drive-thru window can offer. The target consumer cares a great deal about what goes into their body but does not require their meals to be organic or “all green”. Whether a customer chooses one of their limited-time seasonal specials, or a permanent staple on the menu, Top Chef’s promise is that each bite will be completely free of GMOs, hormones, trans fats, and chemicals. This quality of eating typically only comes from an expensive restaurant or a meal one has cooked themselves after slaving over a stove for hours. Top Chef aims to change that.

When it comes to engaging with their twelve-thousand Instagram followers, Top Chef Meals utilizes Instagram Story polls, asking questions in captions, and encouraging followers to try specific new meals. Keeping the audience informed is truly what the brand does best… aside from preparing delicious, great-for-you meals! A second factor of the company’s strategic digital strategy is their use of high-quality images; this is an invaluable piece of the puzzle. How might one expect to sell a meal if it doesn’t look appetizing? The answer is you simply can’t. 

Another prong of the company’s stellar social media strategy is to share the experiences of customers who have purchased from them in the past. As a brand, you can promote your services all day long, but when real people become your advocates because they truly love the product, that is powerful. The weekly testimonials shared to Top Chef’s Instagram allow followers to empathize with the previous customers and put themselves in their shoes. For example, a review posted to the page on March 19th informed, “My 92 year old mother loves these meals. She had trouble cooking for one and had resorted to overly processed foods from the frozen food section. She enjoys these meals for the variety and the convenience”. The feeling of worrying about an elderly parent or grandparent is universal and is certainly on many individuals’ minds. A follower reading this testimonial may think, “Wow, my mother doesn’t cook either… this would be great for her!” In addition to these shared experiences giving the brand the opportunity to thank their customers, it also allows them to promote in a more organic way. 

A final prong of the Top Chef’s curated digital strategy is a robust email marketing campaign. The beauty of this form of communication with your customers is that it is more aggressive in nature. Rather than waiting for your audience to visit your social media pages or website, an email marketing campaign gives you the ability to speak to those with whom your brand has already resonated or those who have already purchased. Top Chef’s strategy is also highly effective because they take precaution not to overwhelm their audience. By utilizing designated contact lists broken down by customer behavior, those who have purchased versus those who have left meals in their cart, for example, they are able to tailor to customers’ current stage of the buying cycle. While some contacts may be in the research and compare stage, others may be in the ready-to-purchase-again stage. According to a recent study, 60% of shoppers returned to complete their purchase after receiving a personalized abandoned cart email, and around 75% of shoppers planned to come back later. Anyway you slice it, email marketing is a powerful tool that must be utilized when communicating with your audience.

Top Chef Meals continues to revolutionize the meal delivery landscape by offering their customers high-quality, chef-prepared meals at a reasonable price and completely devoid of commitments! They came to us with an arsenal of unique selling points and sought our guidance in communicating these qualities to their customers. Today, Top Chef has expanded and is known as the most flexible, customizable meal delivery service out there, while still upholding the family values on which it was founded. By proving to their followers that they are in the business of selling delicious, healthy meals and helping customers get their life back, Top Chef Meals is an example of a company whose audience truly feels like they are seen, heard, understood, and respected by the brand. 

At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy needed for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we have watched marketing evolve from traditional to digital. Whether you need a website refresh, more attractive email, or a quality online presence, we can do it all. When we take on a client, we put in 110% and treat every brand as if it’s our own. We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!