Albertsons Acquires Meal-Kit Service Plated

After reports that it was in talks to acquire the meal-kit service, Albertsons Cos. has announced its acquisition of Plated, advancing a shared strategy to reinvent the way consumers discover, purchase and experience food.

Plated will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Albertsons Cos. upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to occur later this month.

In teaming with Plated, Albertsons Cos. adds a meal-kit company with leading technology and data capabilities, a strategic step for the grocer as it continues to focus on innovation, personalization and customization. Together, they will leverage their diverse and complementary strengths to serve customers in a way that appeals to the evolving lifestyles and food preferences of people across the country. Among the key projected outcomes of the deal is for Plated to become the first omnichannel meal-kit offering with national scale.

Recent reports speculated the potential acquisition of certain meal-kit companies by grocers, including Plated by Albertsons Cos. Last week, Progressive Grocer discussed the advantages and disadvantages of such potential deals going through, as well as the advantages that grocers could have in creating meal-kit brands of their own, which retailers such as Kroger and Publix have done in the past year. Amazon also has been diving deeper into meal kits, an area it likely will expand into brick-and-mortar stores via its recent purchase of Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market.

Plated will benefit from Albertsons Cos.’ resources and national reach -- more than 2,300 stores to scale its business and improve its customer experience with new offerings. Albertsons Cos. will enable Plated to expand beyond its existing subscription model by offering Plated meal kits at many store locations, across its digital channels, and through a variety of distribution options to make it easy to create meals at home by providing the flexibility, convenience, and access to high-quality, fresh ingredients, coupled with chef-designed recipes, that customers are looking for. Plated’s marketing and acquisition efforts will also benefit by gaining exposure to Albertson Cos.’ 35 million customers per week.

“As meal kits continue to gain traction in the marketplace, we believe the winning formula combines choice, flexibility, culinary expertise and the ability for customers to buy across channels – all of which we are now singularly positioned to deliver in collaboration with Albertsons Cos.,” said Josh Hix, Plated co-founder and CEO, who will continue to lead Plated as a distinct consumer brand, based in New York.

Added Bob Miller, chairman and CEO of Albertsons Cos.: “Today’s consumer is looking for a variety of personalized shopping alternatives, and this transaction is the latest example of Albertsons Cos. meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop. … Plated knows its customers better than anyone, and together we will accelerate our ability to serve them. We are excited to offer our customers more online options and fresh, quality ingredients, along with distinctive recipes at their doorstep or through traditional shopping trips.”

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and Washington, D.C., under 20 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.

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