Grocery chain Albertsons has announced plans to introduce Plated meal kits to hundreds of its stores this year, CNBC reports. The grocer acquired Plated last summer and currently offers its meal kits in 40 stores throughout California as well as in Chicago. Albertsons plans to offer the meal kits in its other store brands as well, including Safeway, Vons and Jewel-Osco. The grocer is also working with Instacart to provide same-day delivery for customers ordering Plated meals online.
Total Retail’s Take: Albertsons is making great strides in adding new services to its brick-and-mortar stores to keep up with the growth of online grocery shopping. Consumers are used to ordering clothing and other product categories online, but buying groceries online has been a slower build. That's quickly changing, however. Albertsons and Plated will be competing with other meal kit services, including Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and now even Walmart, but Albertson’s current brick-and-mortar footprint offers it a significant advantage over online-only competitors. Amazon.com, which acquired Whole Foods last year, also looms as a direct competitor in the online grocery market, which has doubled in size within the last year and shows no signs of slowing down. Paired with the convenience of home delivery and the growing popularity of boxed meal kits, this is a smart move by Albertsons to keep customers satisfied.