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Albertsons in big push of meal kits

BY Marianne Wilson

Albertsons Companies is ramping up its Plated meal kit business — and is even bringing Instacart into the act.

The grocery giant said it plans to roll out meal kits from Plated, which Albertsons acquired in 2017, to hundreds of its stores this year. As part of the rollout, the kits will also available for same-day online ordering and home delivery in as little two hours via Instacart, as well as for in-store pickup via Albertson’s click-and-collect service.

“Since partnering with Albertsons Companies last year, we’ve accelerated our growth and are thrilled to bring an elevated culinary experience to more people in more ways,” said Josh Hix, co-founder and CEO of Plated. “Today we’re announcing that in addition to our subscription offering, customers near hundreds of Albertsons Companies stores will be able to pick up last-minute or order online for on demand delivery.”

Currently, Plated is available in 40 stores operated by Albertsons in two major markets: 20 Safeway stores in Northern California and 20 Jewel-Osco stores in the Chicago area. By the end of 2018, the meal kits will be available at select Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, and Haggen locations across the country.

Meal kits are a growing business with plenty of potential. It’s estimated that less than 20% of American consumers have tried a meal kit, according to Albertsons. Walmart plans to roll out meal kits to some 2,000 stores this year. The expansion comes after Walmart introduced the kits in some 250 stores.

And subscription-based Blue Apron, which has been challenged by growing competition and distribution problems, plans to start selling its kits in supermarkets.

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