The Kroger Co. is bringing its recently acquired Home Chef meal kits in-store with the roll out of a weekly rotating menu to select markets, as well as a test run of Home Chef Express 15-minute meals.
The retailer acquired the Chicago-based meal kit service for $200 million in May in a deal that allowed the company to continue its online operations while taking over responsibility for Kroger's meal solutions portfolio.
At the time of the acquisition, Kroger officials said the Home Chef meal kits would complement its existing proprietary Prep+Pared in-store meal solutions, but it remains to be seen how that will play out now that Home Chef is being brought into the physical store.
Robert Clark, Kroger's SVP of merchandising, said the meal kits will "redefine the way customers shop for, prep and cook their meals."
Photograph courtesy of Kroger
Home Chef's meal kits, which start at $8.50 per serving, will debut in Mariano's (now combined with Roundy's) locations in Illinois; Pick 'n Save and Metro Market locations in Wisconsin; and Kroger locations in Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, with expansions planned for 2019. Each week, four meal kit options will be available with additional varieties offered through homechef.com.
Clark added that offering a rotating menu is another way for the retailer to provide its customers with "innovative culinary experiences and choices."
Additionally, Kroger will be testing its quick-cook Home Chef Express concept in Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.
Home Chef founder and CEO Pat Vihtelic said the company has "built a strong business helping people plan their meals in advance," adding that customers desire the convenience of a Home Chef meal without having to plan ahead.
"We're excited to take this first step in revolutionizing mealtime by bringing Home Chef's signature variety and great-tasting meals directly to Kroger customers," he said. "We are also looking forward to introducing our new line of Home Chef Express meal kits that address a major customer need—faster meals."
The upcoming menu is as follows:
Home Chef Menu
Week of Oct. 8 - Brasserie-Style Sirloin Steak, Breaded Italian Chicken, Blue Cheese and Smoked Almond Pork Chop, Adobo Chicken Enchiladas
Week of Oct. 15 - Steak Strip Marsala Risotto, Chicken Chimichangas, Chimichurri Pork Tenderloin, Prosciutto and Sage Linguine
Week of Oct. 22 - Steak Strip Chimichangas, Teriyaki Chicken Thighs with Smoked Almonds, Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Turkey Burrito Skillet
Home Chef Express Menu
Week of Oct. 8 to week of Oct. 15 - Acapulco Steak Tacos, Mongolian Meatballs, Chicken Alfredo, Honey Butter Pork Chop
Week of Oct. 15 - Steak Stroganoff, Chicken Fajitas, Pork Spring Roll Bowl, Beef Chili