The move – which follows similar announcements from meal kit brands Blue Apron, Walmart and Chef’d - reflects the fact that while many consumers buy into the meal kit concept, not everyone wants to commit to a subscription, said Plated CEO Josh Hix, who co-founded the business in 2012 with Nick Taranto and sold it to Albertsons last year for an undisclosed sum.
For Plated, the deal immediately gave it access to a large physical store network through which to sell or/and market its kits, coupled with access to Albertsons’ 35m customers per week and exposure via its digital marketing channels, said Hix, who has already been trialing Plated retail kits in a small number of Safeway stores in Northern California and Jewel-Osco stores in the Chicago. Six kits will be offered in the national rollout.
“Since less than 20% of American consumers have tried a meal kit, there’s tremendous opportunity for us to make it easy for many more people to cook recipes they’ll love at home," he said in a statement. "Now we’ll be able to meet and serve millions of new customers with an entirely new level of convenience."
Plated also plans to offer online ordering for same-day and scheduled home delivery, and in-store pickup through Albertsons’ Drive Up & Go click-and-collect service.
In a February 20 presentation about the Albertsons Rite Aid merger, CEO Robert Miller said Plated revenues were up 50% year on year and that Plated kits would roll out to more than 650 "premium stores" by the end of fiscal year 2018. He also anticipated that the Plated subscriber base and revenues would double in fiscal year 2018.
The dishes available for in-store purchase are:
- Crunchy Chicken Milanese with Honey Mustard and Arugula
- Roasted Chicken au Jus with Orzo and Peas
- Beef Noodle Bowls with Dinosaur Kale and Mushrooms
- Steak Frites with Creamy Shallot Sauce and Sautéed Spinach
- Skillet Grandma Pie with Parmesan-Kale Salad
- Pine Nut–Crusted Salmon with Creamy Tomato Farro and Roasted Green Beans
Click HERE to read about Chef’d’s take on meal kits in retail stores.