Albertsons to roll out Plated meal kits to hundreds of its stores by end of year

Albertsons Companies announced on Thursday plans to roll out its Plated meal kits to hundreds of its stores, just six months after acquiring the company last summer.

The grocer will also make the meal kits available through Instacart delivery, same-day online ordering and scheduled home delivery.

“This was the reason to to do the deal,” said Josh Hix, co-founder and CEO of Plated. “From day one, we wanted to use their stores and their assets to built this omni-channel experience.”

Going forward, Plated and Albertsons expect to further strengthen their partnership beyond selling Plated in stores. Expect more “solutions,” Hix said, declining to further specify what those solutions may be.

The grocer already offers Plated in 20 Safeway stores in Northern California and 20 Jewel-Osco stores in the Chicago. It plans to have meal kits in store brands that include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons and Jewel-Osco.

It did not specify the number of Albertsons stores it would be in beyond saying “hundreds.”

As Plated ramps up its partnership with Albertsons, so too do other meal kit and brick and mortar pairings. Walmart expects to roll out meal kits to 2,000 stores this year. Blue Apron says it will start selling meal kits in stores in 2018, in hopes of using a store-base to alleviate its costs.

Hix said the meal kit business is big and broad enough to leave room for multiple players.

Plated also seeks to distinguish itself in part by its culinary team, led by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef. Meal options in Albertsons stores will include crunchy chicken milanese with honey mustard and arugula and roasted chicken au jus with orzo and peas

Meantime, Albertsons has elsewhere been building out its digital platform, including expanding its partnership with delivery service Instacart. Earlier this year, it launched Albertsons Performance Media, a platform to help brands better target their digital ads.

The grocer in February announced plans to acquire pharmacy Rite Aid. The company would not comment on whether Rite Aid stores would eventually sell Plated meal kits.

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