- eMeals, an online service that lets consumers build grocery shopping lists based on meals it recommends, has added Albertsons and Safeway to the list of supermarket chains where customers can import or directly shop for recipe ingredients planned through the service, according to a press release.
- The integration between the eMeals platform and the grocers’ online ordering systems builds on eMeals’ existing partnerships with Walmart, Kroger and Amazon. The company also works with e-commerce providers Instacart and Shipt.
- The addition of Albertsons and Safeway steps up efforts to boost interest in its meal-planning tools by making it easier for customers to acquire items they need to prepare recipes at home.
Convenience is king for many consumers as they look to make at-home eating interesting, and like its competitors in the meal-planning space, eMeals wants to make sure using its service is as easy as possible. A key part of that effort is speeding the process of ordering ingredients for people who want to translate culinary inspiration into actual at-home meals.
eMeals, which lets customers build meals according to dietary preferences, is looking to hitch a ride as grocers feast on strong consumer interest in buying food online. Kroger reported a 127% increase in digital sales during the quarter that ended Aug. 15, while Albertsons saw e-commerce sales soar 276% in its first quarter, which ended June 20. E-commerce sales at Target and Walmart have also flown ahead in recent months.
Albertsons, which runs stores under a host of banners in addition to Safeway and its namesake brand, is devoting resources to further expanding its e-commerce operations, CEO Vivek Sankaran said recently during a conference hosted by Goldman Sachs. The initiative includes investments in technology designed to help customers build shopping lists and simplify the process of placing an online order.
The announcement by eMeals that it has expanded its order-integration capability to more grocery stores follows the recent announcement by rival Dinner Daily that it, too, is adding to its list of supermarket partnerships. Dinner Daily, which has said that finding time to go shopping is one of the biggest annoyances for shoppers, now lets customers who use its meal-planning service zap orders directly into Kroger’s e-commerce system.
Beyond facing each other, companies like eMeals and Dinner Daily are dealing with competition from meal kit companies, which also hope to profit as consumers search for ways to spice up their eating choices. Blue Apron, one of the leading companies in the meal kit space, announced Thursday that it is revamping its board of directors with new members that bring particular experience in the direct-to-consumer and e-commerce spaces.