The kits are designed to attract a significant subset of consumers that buy into the meal kit concept but don’t necessarily want to commit to a subscription.
As Home Chef chief revenue officer Rich DeNardis previously told FoodNavigator-USA:
“Kroger has 60 million shoppers coming into its stores on a weekly basis and we have something like a million customers come to our site a month, so if you think of the opportunity, about the number of eyeballs or the foot traffic in that retail environment, it’s a multiple of the opportunity online, so once we get distribution through Kroger we expect to see meaningful growth.”
Home Chef’s selection of four weekly rotating in-store meal kits – which include fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and recipes -- will be available in Midwest locations first, including Illinois (Mariano's), Ohio, and Wisconsin (Pick 'n Save and Metro Market). Kroger anticipates rolling out Home Chef meal kits to additional markets in 2019.
"We've built a strong business helping people plan their meals in advance. We also know there are customers who want the convenience of a Home Chef meal, without having to plan ahead," Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef's founder and CEO, said.
"We're excited to take this first step in revolutionizing mealtime by bringing Home Chef's signature variety and great-tasting meals directly to Kroger customers."
The company has launched its express meal kit products that claim to be ready for consumers to eat in about 15 minutes to a limited market.
“We are also looking forward to introducing our new line of Home Chef Express meal kits that address a major customer need—faster meals," Vihtelic said.
Each Home Chef Express meal kit option serves two and starts at $8.50 per serving and will be sold in Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio Kroger locations, according to the company.
“The Home Chef meal kits will redefine the way customers shop for, prep, and cook their meals," Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of merchandising, said.