Seattle-area grocery cooperative PCC Community Markets is introducing Scratch-made Meals at Home, subscription-free meal kits now available throughout the Emerald City both in-store and for delivery through Instacart and Amazon Prime Now.
Created by the grocer’s in-house chefs, each kit features simple-to-follow, original recipes with best-in-class ingredients such as almost entirely organic produce and non-GMO, locally raised meats. All ingredients are hand-packed in-house.
The launch will begin with six globally inspired kits – including a vegetarian option – with additional recipes to follow every four weeks. Now available are Sesame-Gochujang Steak with Kimchi Fried Rice & Shirred Egg; Simple and Sophisticated Cassoulet with Chicken and Sausage; Red Lentil Curry with Jasmine Rice, Zucchini and Warm Halloumi Cheese (vegetarian); Pan-Roasted Chicken with Honeyed Carrots and Pistachios & Currant-Couscous; Blackened Seasonal Fish Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Crema, Lime and Salt Radishes & Pumpkin Seed Slaw; and Jaeger Schnitzel in Mushroom Sauce with Smashed Potatoes & Sweet and Sour Cabbage-Apple Slaw.
“The meal-kit market is growing at an incredible rate, and as a certified-organic grocer, PCC is uniquely positioned to succeed,” said Darrell Vannoy, the grocer's VP of merchandising. “We have access to the freshest, highest-quality ingredients right in our stores. Our kits will be individually hand-packed in our own local kitchens, not shipped days ago from a warehouse several states away. This allows PCC to offer customers greater flexibility and choice, and reduces costly waste. These are exactly the type of meal kits you’d expect from PCC: incredibly fresh, sustainably sourced and full of flavor.”
Store staff will hand-select fresh, seasonal ingredients that meet PCC’s high quality standards and are sourced from local producers whenever possible. Packaging is kept to a minimum by using almost 100 percent compostable and recyclable materials, with none of the wasteful cold packs and insulation that meal kits shipped from afar use.
The kits cost $19.99 each, serve two people, and include suggestions for complementary made-from-scratch salads available via delivery or in-store, as well as wine, beer or cider pairings, also available in-store. Now available at the Greenlake Village PCC store, they will expand to the Burien PCC when it opens in May, and roll out to additional PCC locations in the coming months.
The Meal-Kit Explosion
While Blue Apron and Hello Fresh might dominate in terms of meal kits purchased, kits offered through brick-and-mortar retailers have experienced impressive gains, new research from Chicago-based market researcher Nielsen shows.
Sales of in-store meal kits grew 26.5 percent over the past year, reaching $154.6 million, according to the report, “The Meal Kit Opportunity.” At the same time, total brick-and-mortar sales for center store edibles – including shelf-stable, dairy and frozen foods – dipped 0.1 percent to $374 billion.
This growth could be attributed to the advantages that in-store kits provide over those offered through online services: They require less commitment than those purchased via subscription-based services, and they offer more flexibility for retailers and suppliers to experiment with components and “levels” of convenience that keep customers coming back.