Kroger, Kitchen United End Ghost Kitchen Partnership

Food court concept exiting 7 food retail-based locations
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Kitchen United Kroger
Kitchen United will no longer operate out of Kroger stores, a spokesperson confirmed.

Kitchen United is shutting down its ghost kitchen concept that was located in seven Kroger Co. locations throughout Texas, Central Ohio and Indianapolis. Kitchen United MIX is heralded as the nation's first "multi-restaurant ordering" to-go experience and allows customers to order meals from multiple restaurants, all on the same bill.

“Unfortunately, Kitchen United will no longer operate in our stores,” a Kroger spokesperson told Progressive Grocer. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may create and encourage customers to explore delicious ready-to-eat items in our deli departments.”

The concept entered the Dallas market in July 2022 and was brought to three Central Ohio Kroger locations late last year. The two companies also operated Kitchen United MIX locations in Houston and suburban Indianapolis. The food halls were housed in Kroger's deli area, and several locations offered in-store seating for customers.

Meanwhile, Kroger has been keeping an otherwise keen eye on its ready-made food offerings. The grocer's Home Chef meal solutions brand has completely reinvented its fried chicken, as Kroger noted, to be crispier, crunchier and tastier than ever. 

After surveying and testing revealed that Home Chef's Fried Chicken and Tenders sold in Kroger-owned stores nationwide wasn't the crispiest or most flavorful (compared with top-rated retail/QSR chickens), Kroger and Home Chef set out to provide customers with the crunchiest, most flavor-packed fried chicken on market. Kroger's culinary team engaged in a months-long redevelopment journey in partnership with leading innovators in the industry to improve the recipe and packaging of its Fried Chicken and Tenders.

Serving more than 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company to its Retailers of the Century list. 

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