- Albertsons is expanding its Plated meal kits to 42 stores in the Southwest and 37 in the Northeast U.S., according to Progressive Grocer. These kits will only be available in Albertsons and Safeway stores. Those locations will carry several options curated by Plated's chef, Elena Karp.
- The kits include many varieties — including braised chicken apricots and currents with roasted fingerling potatoes, caprese chicken over warm spinach salad, and fresh onion soup burgers with gruyére and arugula.
- This is a part of Albertsons' planned roll out of Plated kits to hundreds of stores by the end of the year.
While Albertsons was the first major supermarket to purchase a popular meal kit company, it may not be ahead of the game anymore. Since the deal went through, most major grocers have acquired meal kit companies, partnered with them, or rolled out their own versions. HelloFresh, which is the top performing meal kit company in the industry, partnered with Ahold Delhaize's Giant Food and Stop & Shop stores. Walmart meal kit line Gobble is quickly expanding, and Kroger's $200 million purchase of Home Chef is making waves.
Busy consumers are looking for unique meal options, quicker prep and cook times — as well as a convenient way to receive a meal kit. Albertsons already had a way for customers to grab a last-minute kit, as well as offering same-day delivery through Instacart and store-pickup.
Albertsons' updated meals give the retailer the leg up it needs to tackle its biggest competitor: Walmart. The megaretailer recently rolled out three styles of meal kits, including heat-and-eat and 15-minute prep options. All of these will be available at 2,000 of its stores this year.
Plated has the advantage of an established presence in the industry. These new recipes target consumers looking for something different to cook, and include both trendy ethnic flavors and American comfort food. Regardless of the type of meal a consumer is looking for, Plated's new kits make it available at Albertsons' stores. A launch on both sides of the country also increases the audiences for the kits. While these stores aren't as numerous as Walmart, the kits will be sold in enough places to be competitive from coast to coast.
While drawing shoppers into physical stores, Plated also has an online business. It has a reputation among consumers as the most flexible of the major meal kit companies because its website allows customers to choose the number of serving sizes per box, when and how they are delivered, and which meals they want from a variety of options. As long as that model continues, Plated's web purchases will keep growing along with its in-store presence.