Publix Super Markets Inc. has joined the ranks of grocers creating their own meal kits, with offerings at two of its Florida stores, in Tampa and Orlando.
Feeding two to four people and featuring pre-measured ingredients, the meal kits come in three levels of preparation: simplest, or heat and eat; simpler, taking up to four steps; and simple, requiring as many as six steps, the Tampa Bay Business Journal reported, noting that the Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer has referred to the items as including “perfectly portioned, high-quality ingredients for [shoppers] to prepare a restaurant-style dinner at home.”
The meals are sold in the Aprons department, which provides recipes, cooking schools, event-planning services and in-store demos. Both of the stores carrying the kits have in-store Aprons cooking schools. Kit prices at the Tampa store ranged from $9.99 to $37.99 for meals feeding four people, depending on ingredients, according to the Journal.
Publix spokesman Brian West told Progressive Grocer that "sales are doing very well" in the two-store test, but that the company doesn't have any immediate plans to expand the products to other stores. In the Tampa store, he noted, the meal kits were immediately adjacent to Aprons Simple Meals, while in Orlando, the items were displayed in a separate case closer to the front of the store.
Another recent grocer entrant in the meal kit derby is Cincinnati-based Kroger, which launched its Prep + Pared line of 20-minute meals for two just last week.