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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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Report: Walmart—even more than Amazon—has potential to disrupt U.S. health care

BY CSA Staff

Walmart, more than Amazon, could make a real difference in health care.

That’s according to a report by CNBC, which said health experts agree that Walmart is the company to watch when it comes to disrupting health care.

“Everyone in the country is talking about Amazon and its partners changing the landscape of self-insured, large employers,” Trevor Price, CEO of the health services firm Oxeon Partners, who closely follows Walmart, told CNBC. “But the company that has the biggest opportunity to change the landscape of health care, given all the Americans that walk through the door every week, is Walmart.”

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More Martha Stewart coming to Michaels

BY Marianne Wilson

Move over Party City….Michaels Companies is making a big commitment to party goods via the Martha Stewart brand.

The arts-and-crafts retailer and Sequential Brands Group announce the expansion of the Martha Stewart brand at Michaels. The exclusive new Martha Stewart Celebrations collection adds more than 300 party essentials to the brand’s existing offering of paints, tools, stencils, and paper crafts at Michaels stores.

In addition, Michaels will also exclusively offer a new Martha Stewart Cricut machine, billed as a “go-to customization tool for every DIY fan.” With its “Design Space” software and state-of-the-art cutting machine, the new tool can cuts more than 100 materials — from cardstock to vinyl to leather — to quickly create one-of-a-kind cards, banners, gifts, artwork and more.

“Michaels is thrilled to expand our partnership with Sequential Brands Group for the Martha Stewart brand, whose offerings and unparalleled creativity continue to inspire our customers,” said Idalia Farrajota, Michaels senior VP of merchandising and trend. “We trust the new Martha Stewart Celebrations collection and Cricut machine will be no exception, as both provide elevated, unique items designed to make entertaining easy for every kind of event and style,”

Designed to help customers plan holidays, birthdays, showers, and graduations, Martha Stewart Celebrations features table settings, treats, favors, decor and more in 10 distinctive, color-coordinated themes, each beautifully harmonized to create a cohesive look.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with Michaels, which offers best-in-class DIY products and inspiration for every customer,” said Martha Stewart.

 

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