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Industry News

Struggling meal kit firms head to the supermarket

August 10, 2018

Who needs supermarkets anymore? Meal-preparation-kit companies like Blue Apron and Plated have put forth the question in the past, but as it turns out: They do.

Meal-kit startup Chef’d scrapped its home-delivery service in July and is now selling its kits in grocery stores, reports CNN. Home Chef was recently sold to Kroger; Plated was bought by Albertson’s; and Gobble is reportedly teaming up with Walmart, CNN says. Shares in Blue Apron, meanwhile, have fallen by 75 percent since the company went public last year.

Kroger acquired Home Chef

Logistics costs and consumer tastes are a major barrier for these companies, said R.J. Hottovy, a senior restaurant analyst at Morningstar, speaking to CNN. Supermarkets can offer a source for ingredients, distribution infrastructure and a customer base, he said.

"You need to be part of a larger organization," Hottovy said. "I think there's a place for [meal-prep kits], and there's sufficient consumer demand. They offer a level of convenience that people are looking for. But the idea that you send a weeks worth of meals at once is evolving."

By Edmund Mander

Director, Editor-In-Chief/SCT

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