- Hannaford Supermarkets will offer a selection of Home Chef meal kits through its Hannaford To Go click-and-collect service, according to a news release.
- The kits cost $17.99 for a two-person serving, and include selections like brown sugar salmon and sesame beef with green beans. Hannaford will supply the fresh meat and seafood for each kit, while Home Chef will supply the accompanying ingredients.
- Hannaford began testing its To Go service several years ago, and has expanded it to 41 stores across five states. The grocery operates 181 stores in the Northeast, according to Progressive Grocer.
Several partnerships between supermarkets and meal kit makers have been announced in recent months, and those deals may accelerate as demand for in-store kits continues to grow.
For grocers like Hannaford, these deals provide well-known brands and culinary expertise specific to the burgeoning market. In the case of Albertsons' Plated acquisition, the supermarket chain added technology and data mining experience to its ranks, as well. Earlier this month, Albertsons announced a nationwide rollout of Plated meal kits.
For online meal kit providers — most of which have struggled with profitability — in-store selections offer a valuable new revenue stream. They also bring a new dimension of convenience to the meal kit equation.
“Consumers are seeing that they don’t have to subscribe to a monthly program, and that they can pick up meal kits when it’s convenient for them,” Sarah Schmansky, director of growth and strategy with Nielsen Fresh, told Food Dive.
Hannaford’s deal with Home Chef, meanwhile, is fairly limited, as it only applies to online orders from a fraction of the chain’s stores. But this will allow Hannaford to test demand in key markets. Using its own meat and seafood in the kits is an interesting move that boosts the freshness factor of each selection — but it’s also an expensive one. Hannaford will want to make sure these selections resonate with shoppers before committing to a larger rollout.
As part of Ahold Delhaize, Hannaford’s experience will inform operations across the broader company, including online grocer Peapod. Grocers like Stop & Shop and Food Lion are likely eyeing the meal kit market, and could roll out offerings very soon. According to Nielsen, in-store meal kit sales grew 26.5% to $155 million last year.