- The Giant Company has launched a ready-to-eat meal solution for four people that combines a main course and several sides in a single package intended to be placed right on a dining table.
- The East Coast supermarket chain’s new offering, which is known as “All Set in a Box" and is available in all Giant and Martin’s supermarkets from 3 to 7 p.m. daily beginning on Monday, starts at $15. Customers can choose from main courses such as baked chicken, chicken tenders or tacos, while side order options include Amish potato salad, cole slaw, mashed potatoes and potato wedges.
- Giant's new offering replicates the meal-in-a-box offerings popularized by quick-serve restaurants as the grocer looks for ways to keep shoppers coming back for dinner solutions.
The Giant Company drew inspiration for its new family dinner-in-a-box concept from takeout-focused restaurants that let customers order a range of prepared food items in a single package instead of having to traverse supermarket departments to gather the components of a meal, according to John MacDonald, director of meal solutions and marketing operations for the grocery chain.
“Most of the offerings that we have in our meal deal aren’t things that are brand new to us, but they’re very complementary,” MacDonald said. “And that’s where the box came in. When we were giving [the items to customers] in just a regular package, it was great. They loved it. But when we started talking about, hey, this is a very sturdy box, you can take it home, you can serve right on your table from it, you can unpack it, the comparisons came from more quick-serve areas of the industry than from anywhere else.”
The Ahold Delhaize-owned grocer tested the All Set in a Box concept in 17 of its approximately 190 stores before deciding late last year to introduce it across most of its fleet, MacDonald said. The meals are not available in the company’s Giant Heirloom Market stores in Center City Philadelphia, which MacDonald said are not equipped to handle them.
“We had a group of 80 what we called 'meal ninjas.' And they were our focus group for a year, and they would tell us what they're eating, why they're eating it. They would give us feedback on the demand moments and which ones were important and which weren't, and they were very, very instrumental in helping us do a lot of research,” MacDonald said.
Some of the items available through All Set in a Box come from the selection of prepared foods The Giant Company offered before the program was conceived, while others were designed expressly for the new concept.
“We created some sides, we expanded the role of some existing cold sides that we have at the deli so that [they] could be sold for a family of four,” he said. “Things that we do well, we optimized, but we also accentuated them with some of those new additions.“
For now, customers can place orders for the new prepared dinnertime kits, which take about 15 minutes for store staff to prepare, only by going to a Giant or Martin’s store or by calling ahead. The chain plans to offer the kits to online customers in the future and might also opt to expand the concept to other times of day, MacDonald said.
The Giant Company, which unveiled its All Set meal solutions label alongside its new brand platform last August, plans to support the All Set in a Box concept using in-store signage, printed circulars and tags in television commercials, as well as through social media, MacDonald said. “I'm pretty proud of the fact that the marketing department has really rallied behind meals and specifically this launch,” he said.
In addition to All Set in a Box, Giant offers meal kits and grab-and-go selections in its prepared foods departments. Last summer, it unveiled its Cook-in-Bag line, which includes a seasoned protein inside an oven-ready bag.