Chef’d Meal Kits Extend Physical Reach Beyond Grocers

Chef'd meal kits are branching out into Duane Reade and Walgreens locations in the New York metro area

Meal-kit provider Chef’d, which has been making news through its partnership with grocers, has inked a deal to extend its meal kits into physical stores operated by drug store giant Walgreen Co. in the New York metropolitan area, its first partnership with a non-grocer brick-and-mortar retailer.

Partnering with Smithfield Foods for the initiative, the El Segundo, Calif.-based service is offering a selection of kits for “last-minute pickup” from refrigerated displays at 30 combined Walgreens and Duane Reade stores in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Forest Hills, and Yonkers, N.Y., as well as Jersey City and Hoboken, N.J. The launch is a pilot program made possible through Smithfield’s “extensive expertise at retail and vast distribution network.”

Kits available at the new locations include 30 Clove Garlic Chicken with Mashed Purple Potatoes and Spinach; Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice, Raita and Naan Bread; and Herb Crusted Flank Steak with Roasted Potatoes, Sugar Snap Peas and Horseradish Cream Sauce. With this partnership, Chef’d now offers solutions at more than a dozen retailers in 27 states.

“Since its launch as the only non-subscription meal kit company, Chef’d, has been dedicated to providing customers with more quality meal-kit offerings in more locations,” said Kyle Ransford, CEO of Chef’d. “Through our expansion into New York-area Walgreen’s stores in partnership with Smithfield Foods, we are able to extend meal kits to new audiences and occasions.”

Although the new agreement marks Chef'd's first foray into non-grocery brick-and-mortar, it isn't the company's first venture into non-grocery altogether. The company recently partnered with Byte Foods, which supplies patented smart refrigerators to sell fresh food via unattended storefronts in workplaces, hospitals and apartments, to sell kits inside the devices. Customers can purchase Chef’d kits – along with the usual fresh salads, sandwiches, beverages and more – at any time of the day, any day of the week, and the fridge technology automatically knows what was purchased and charge accordingly. Customers swipe their card, grab a product and just walk away.

Chef’d recently has widely expanded availability of its kits through a number of brick-and-mortar grocers, including Costco, Harris Teeter, Hy-Vee and Weis Markets, following distribution agreements with upscale Southern California grocer Gelson’s Markets and Northeastern food retailer Tops Markets. It also recently partnered with eating-technology company Innit, which claims to be the developer of the world’s first connected food platform, with the two companies integrating to provide ingredients of select meals on Innit to be ordered as a meal kit through the service.

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