Albertsons Cos. is shifting its Plated brand from a subscription meal solution to a comprehensive in-house culinary brand that will join the company’s lineup of popular private label products.
As a result, Plated’s subscription service will be phased out at the end of November, the company said. The Plated brand will expand with new product offerings in additional stores in 2020, Albertsons added.
“Our vision for Plated includes an expanded set of products that goes far beyond a dinner-based solution and into a comprehensive in-house culinary brand,” said Geoff White, EVP and chief merchandising officer at Albertsons. “With a broader scope of offerings, we see Plated solving customer demands around convenience, lifestyle and cooking experience, while adding yet another layer of interest to our in-store journey.”
The marketing and product development team behind the company’s own brands will manage the expansion of Plated into a holistic home meal solution. That same team has grown billion-dollar brands such as O Organics, Lucerne, Signature Select and Signature Café.
Own brands remains an important source of growth and innovation at Albertsons, according to the company. Own brands penetration grew from 23% in fiscal 2017 to 25.3% in Albertsons’ most recently reported quarter. The own brands team launched 1,100 new items in 2018 alone.
According to Albertsons, the decision to formally bring Plated into the company’s lineup of own brands comes after extensive testing of the meal kits’ in-store performance in the grocer's Safeway stores in Northern California. The company found that shoppers who purchase Plated products are more likely to have families and have a larger basket than the average shopper.
“Plated’s brand appeals to our most loyal and highest-value customers, especially those that skew towards convenient, fresh and organic products,” White observed.
As the Plated portfolio grows in the store, its products will be available for purchase online through stores’ existing ecommerce platforms, which offer delivery in as little as two hours, or pickup through the retailer's Drive Up & Go service.
Albertsons acquired Plated for about $200 million in 2017.
Albertsons rival The Kroger Co. revealed at its recent investor meeting that it would also be expanding its Home Chef meal-kit brand, which it acquired in 2018.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia 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, as well as New York-based meal-kit company Plated. The company is No. 3 on Progressive Grocer's 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.