In September of last year, the grocery giant Albertsons announced that it was buying the meal-kit company Plated for an undisclosed price.
After Amazon acquired Whole Foods, players in the food industry were forced to step their game up. Both grocery chains and meal-kit companies were now going to compete with the logistic giant Amazon and to stay competitive, they each have taken different approaches.
The timing of Amazon’s acquisition influenced the meal-kit company Blue Apron to achieve a lukewarm IPO.
Cleverly, Plated was looking to be acquired and Albertsons was looking for more easy to-go meals to offer its customers.
“Today’s consumer is looking for a variety of personalized shopping alternatives, and this transaction is the latest example of Albertsons Cos. meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop,” said Bob Miller, chairman and CEO of Albertsons Companies in a press release from last year.
This week, Plated announced that its meal-kits will be available at hundreds of the Albertsons’ owned grocery stores by the end of 2018. The meals will also be available for on-demand delivery through Albertsons’ partner Instacart.
The meal-kits are already available at about 40 stores, including the northern California Safeway locations and the Jewel-Osco stores in Chicago.
“This is the next big step in our journey to enable everyone to enjoy fresh, delicious meals,” said Josh Hix, Plated co-founder and CEO in a recent press release. "This was the reason to do the deal. From day one, we wanted to use their stores and their assets to build this omnichannel experience.”
Offering the meal-kits in store is different from Plated’s original model, where the company made its revenue from different member subscription programs.
These meal-kit services allow users to select their dietary preferences and choose between a few meal plans. Every week thereafter, consumer select their meal options and receive a shipment of ingredients with recipes to prepare the week’s meals. Depending on the service, the price per meal per person can start anywhere from $8.75 to $12.
Will other meal-kit companies start partnering with grocery chains? Or will that have a negative impact on the monthly subscription fees? Why would customers subscribe if they can get just one box from a grocery store?
Read more about Plated and Albertsons at “The Spoon.”