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Albertsons to serve up Plated meal kits in store

BY Michael Johnsen

In a move that might take a bite out of Amazon’s expansion plans into the food arena, Plated and its parent company Albertsons on Thursday announced the next phase of their long-term plan to transform the way consumers create meals at home, from planning and shopping to cooking and eating.

By the end of the year, Plated plans to make meal kits available in hundreds of stores around the country as the brand rolls out its expansive offering across channels to meet customers wherever, whenever and however they choose to shop. As part of the rollout to stores, Plated also plans to make meal kits available to Albertsons customers in more ways, including delivery in as little as two hours through Instacart, online ordering for same day and scheduled home delivery, as well as for in-store pickup via Albertsons Companies click-and-collect service called Drive Up and Go.

As of today, Plated is already available in 40 grocery stores in two major markets.

“This is the next big step in our journey to enable everyone to enjoy fresh, delicious meals. We’ve delivered millions of meals to Americans through our acclaimed subscription service, and now we’ll be able to meet and serve millions of new customers with an entirely new level of convenience,” Josh Hix, CEO Plated, said. “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. 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.”

“We are excited to have Plated meal kits in our stores. Plated’s culinary expertise allows us to offer customers, premium-quality, chef-designed recipes for amazing meals they can prepare at home,” Pat Brown, group vice president, merchandising and strategic initiatives, Albertsons. “Plated is not just a meal kit, it’s a culinary experience. That’s what sets us apart. Our customers learn new techniques, and can experiment with delicious and culturally diverse recipes.”

Today, Plated is available in 20 Safeway stores in Northern California and 20 Jewel-Osco stores in the Chicago area with continued national expansion throughout the U.S. planned in the coming months.

The new retail offering debuts with a collection of six meal kits representing some of Plated’s customer favorites. Recipes are crafted by Plated’s expert Culinary Team led by Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Elana Karp. The ingredients are pre-measured and portioned to provide just what’s needed to cook delicious meals at home with no food waste.

Since launching over five years ago, Plated has developed more than 2,200 distinctive recipes. In-store meal choices will rotate seasonally, so customers will have new dishes to cook and enjoy. In-store meal kit options will include beef, chicken, vegetarian and seafood recipes.

Plated’s online subscription service continues to offer the most variety in the category, with 20 meal choices per week, as well as two dessert options.

 

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ASOP Global forms Canada chapter in fight against counterfeit Rx

BY Michael Johnsen

The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) has launched a local chapter in Canada to better protect Canadians from the illegal online sale of medical products. ASOP Canada joins ASOP Global’s community in the United States, Europe, China, India and other regions to address illegal online sellers and protect consumers/patients from the sale of falsified, substandard and unapproved medicines by Health Canada.

ASOP Canada’s founding members include: Shoppers Drug Mart; Loblaw Pharmacy; Rexall; McKesson Canada; GS1 Canada; Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada; Canadian Pharmacists Association; and Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

“Canadians are not immune to the global threat posed by illegal online drug sellers. These criminals know no borders,” Libby Baney, executive director of ASOP Global, said. “That is why it is important to have ASOP Canada’s engagement with Canada’s pharmacy, healthcare, patient, and government stakeholders to protect Canadians and patients worldwide.”

The online sale of these unsafe medicines is a global issue that poses a significant risk to the health and safety of Canadians. With just a few clicks, Canadians are at risk of purchasing medicines that contain too much, too little or no medicine at all from illegal online pharmacies.

Over the years, Health Canada has issued numerous advisories containing warnings about online drug sales.

“The Canadian Pharmacists Association is concerned about the emergence of dangerous online sites that allow Canadians to access medicine without a prescription, especially in the wake of Canada’s opioid crisis,” Phil Emberley, director practice advancement and research at the Canadian Pharmacists Association, said. “As a founding member, CPhA looks forward to working with ASOP Canada to educate Canadians on the safest ways to access their medicine.”

“While Canadians depend on their local pharmacies for their own health and wellbeing, illegal online sites place Canadians in harm’s way by selling counterfeit, untested and unapproved products,” Justin Bates, CEO of Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada, said. “Together with ASOP Canada, we are committed to ensuring Canadians continue to access the highest quality care, products and services through pharmacy channels when and where they need it.”

The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to combatting illegal online pharmacies and unsafe medicines to make the Internet safe for consumers worldwide through advocacy, research and education.

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Albertsons expands natural own brand line into non-foods

BY Michael Johnsen

As customers continue to pursue real food and natural products that are free from artificial ingredients, Albertsons earlier this week announced that it is expanding its exclusive Open Nature brand into non-food categories and expects to release more than 240 new Open Nature products in 2018.

In January, the company announced that it would introduce more than 450 new products under its O Organics line in 2018. Together, Open Nature and O Organics comprise $1.4 billion in sales.

Albertsons plans to introduce Open Nature home care products this year, which follows the recent releases of Open Nature goods in both the baby and pet food categories. Open Nature’s pet food offers both grain and grain-free options.

“We know that our customers want high-quality, clean and more natural products at affordable prices,” Geoff White, president own brands, Albertsons, said. “Whether it’s for their spouse, child or pet, we know how important it is to feel good about the food they feed their family and the products that come into their homes. We’re more committed than ever to offering customers that experience, which is why we are excited to introduce a wider variety of Open Nature products and expand the brand’s free-from approach into non-food categories.”

Open Nature launched in 2011 with approximately 100 products and a vision to provide customers with access to simple and flavorful food. Since then, more and more customers across Albertsons’ banners are enjoying Open Nature food products because they are free from 110 ingredients that consumers of natural products want to avoid, such as antibiotics, MSG-type ingredients, nitrates and preservatives like sulfites and benzoates.

Open Nature meats are free from preservatives and added hormones.

Other Albertsons own brands include Signature Select, Lucerne, Primo Taglio and Value Corner. The company’s lineup of own brands products achieved more than $11 billion in sales in fiscal year 2017.

 

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