Grocer will become a big player in growing segment
“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 Albertsons chairman and CEO Bob Miller. “With Plated, we’ve found a partner who shares our commitment to delicious, affordable food; superior technology and innovation; and world class customer service. Plated knows its customers better than anyone, and together we will accelerate our ability to serve them. We are excited to offer our customers more online options and fresh, quality ingredients along with distinctive recipes at their doorstep or through traditional shopping trips.”
The move will make Albertsons a major player in the growing meal kit business, which the market research firm Packaged Facts says now generates an estimated $5 billion in annual sales.
The transaction is expected to close later this month pending customary approvals. Once it does, Plated will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Albertsons Cos., retaining its headquarters in New York City and its own management team, led by co-founder and CEO Josh Hix.
Albertsons says it expects Plated to become the first omnichannel meal kit offering with a national scale. The retailer, which operates more than 2,300 stores in 35 states, will allow Plated to expand beyond its existing subscription model. Plated meal kits will be available at many store locations, as well as across Albertsons’ digital channels. Plated’s marketing and acquisition efforts will also benefit from exposure to Albertsons’ 35 million customers per week.
“Joining Albertsons Companies presents an amazing opportunity to accelerate our positive impact on the future of food in America by making fresh, delicious food more widely available,” Hix said. “Albertsons is at the forefront of the changing food and grocery landscape with their customer obsession, their large national store footprint, and their exciting plans for the future of the grocery store. We’re excited to be partnering with them to shepherd our growth while preserving the unique strengths that define Plated today. There’s tremendous upside for Plated’s customers whose experience with our brand will only get better. As meal kits continue to gain traction in the marketplace, we believe the winning formula combines choice, flexibility, culinary expertise, and the ability for customers to buy across channels–all of which we are now singularly positioned to deliver in collaboration with Albertsons Cos.”
Other grocery retailers have moved into the meal kit space. For example, Kroger has introduced its own meal kits under the Prep+Pared brand, which promises “chef-designed meals in 20 minutes or less.” And last month Encino, Calif.-based Gelsons Markets began offering options from the meal kit company Chef’d in one of its stores, with plans to expand the program to serveral additional locations.