After acquiring Plated last year, Albertsons is now planning to offer the company’s meal kits in "hundreds" of its stores. Customers will also be able to order the kits for delivery via Instacart, CNBC reported.
"This was the reason to do the deal," Plated Co-founder and CEO Josh Hix told CNBC. "From day one, we wanted to use their stores and their assets to build this omnichannel experience."
Albertsons did not say exactly how many stores will carry the meal kits beyond "hundreds." The grocer already sells Plated in 20 Safeway-branded stores in California, along with 20 Jewel-Osco stores in the Chicago area. The meal kits are created by a team headed up by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef. Customers in Albertsons stores will be able to buy such meals as roasted chicken au jus with orzo and peas.
The news comes as Walmart has begun selling meal kits and “one-step meals” in more than 250 of its brick-and-mortar stores. Walmart plans to bring the meals to 2,000 of its locations in 2018, CNBC reported.
Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of deli services for Walmart U.S., has said, “These delicious meals give the best or worst of cooks a fresh, easy option for dinner tonight or later this week.”
The Walmart meal kits are designed to serve two people and sell for $8 to $15. Customers can buy them in the store or through the retailer’s online grocery pick-up service. Unlike meal-kit delivery services like Blue Apron and Hellofresh, Walmart does not require its customers to purchase subscriptions. Traditional meal-kit providers tend to rely on subscriptions to support their business models, which often involve costly and complex delivery processes.
Walmart started selling meal kits on its website last year. According to TheStreet, some of the kits fell under the Takeout Kit and Home Chef brands. Each company fulfilled the orders and Walmart reportedly received a referral fee and small commission.