The supermarket chain is offering meal kits—or packages that contain recipes and accompanying ingredients—at a handful of stores and launching them nationwide over the next year, Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said Wednesday in a letter to shareholders.
The $1.5 billion meal-kit market is currently dominated by Blue Apron, a subscription service that now delivers more than 8 million meals a month — up from about 1 million meals per month two years ago. Blue Apron costs $20 for a meal that services two people.
But Kroger has two major advantages compared to Blue Apron.
First of all, Kroger's boxes are cheaper, costing about $14 for a meal that feeds two people.
Kroger also goes a step further than Blue Apron by doing most of the food prep for customers. No chopping, slicing, dicing, grating, or other work is necessary—all the ingredients are ready to be cooked.
This means the meals can take a lot less time to make. Kroger says its meals take about 20 minutes to prepare "from kit to fork," whereas Blue Apron meals tend to require about 45 minutes of prep and cooking time.
Customers can select from a variety of different meals at Kroger stores where the kits are currently offered. Soon, they will be available nationwide.
More about Kroger’s new meal kits can be found HERE.