NEW YORK — Meal kit delivery company HelloFresh SE is making its first foray into retail. The company’s meal solutions initially will be available at 581 stores under Ahold Delhaize U.S.A.’s Giant Food and Stop & Shop brands, and the company plans to partner with more retailers throughout the year to expand its product availability.
“How we’ve been embraced by retail brands shows the quality product line HelloFresh has brought to market,” said Tobias Hartmann, president for North America at HelloFresh. “HelloFresh strikes a chord with households that want fresh dinners on the table without artificial ingredients or overly complicated recipes. The addition of retail — a channel well placed to benefit from the unique data, brand and infrastructure assets we have built out over the years — allows us to better address the everyday needs for even more customers, adding what we view as a highly complementary customer segment.”
HelloFresh retail meal kits take fewer than 30 minutes to cook and are available in varieties such as peppercorn steak, Mediterranean-style chicken, homestyle meatloaf, chickpea couscous and paprika chicken.
To develop its retail line, HelloFresh collected data from its 1.2 million U.S. customers to determine the most popular recipes among a broad consumer base. The company also conducted global pilot programs to “optimize its retail brand for taste and freshness,” HelloFresh said, as well as to ensure its products would be successful for grocers. Additionally, the company expanded its distribution network to 11 from 5 facilities to maintain ingredient quality for retailers.
“Grocers needed to profitably replace underperforming or low margin product categories and meet their customer demands for chef-curated, fresh and convenient meals,” Mr. Hartmann said. “Our retail line reduces the pressure on grocers to create these meals themselves and easily integrates into growing areas of their business such as online grocery and delivery.”
HelloFresh is the latest in a long line of meal kit delivery companies rushing into retail. In May, The Kroger Co. agreed to acquire Home Chef, which will make Home Chef meal kits available in Kroger stores. Also in May, meal kit company Chef’d partnered with Smithfield Foods, Inc. to bring its meal kits to grocery stores nationwide, including Costco, Hy-Vee, Harris Teeter, Tops, Weis and Gelson’s Markets. In March, Walmart debuted its own meal kit offerings and Blue Apron Holdings, Inc. announced plans to begin selling prepared meal kits at retail. In November 2017, Supervalu Inc. launched a new line of Quick & Easy meal kits, and in September 2017, Albertsons Companies, Inc. acquired Plated, a New York-based meal kit service.