In a first of its kind deal for a pure-play food retailer, Albertsons Cos. has acquired meal kit service Plated, which will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Boise-based company. Conversely, the deal marks a first for a meal kit company to become the first omnichannel service with national scale.
The deal, which is set to close later this month pending customary approvals, enables Albertsons to add a new level of clout to its playbook with technology and data capabilities as it continues to focus on innovation, personalization and customization.
Plated will continue to operate as a standalone brand with its own leadership team led by co-founder and CEO Josh Hix. The company will continue to be headquartered in New York City, with fulfillment centers across the country.
“Today’s consumer is looking for a variety of personalized shopping alternatives, and this transaction is the latest example of Albertsons Cos. meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop,” says Bob Miller, Albertsons’ chairman and CEO. “With Plated, we’ve found a partner who shares our commitment to delicious, affordable food; superior technology and innovation; and world class customer service. Plated knows its customers better than anyone, and together we will accelerate our ability to serve them.”
The move also enables Albertsons to offer customers more online options, fresh ingredients and “distinctive recipes at their doorstep or through traditional shopping trips,” notes Miller.
For its part, Plated will benefit from Albertsons’ resources and national reach with over 2,300 stores to scale its business and improve its customer experience with new offerings. Further, Albertsons will enable Plated to expand beyond its existing subscription model by offering Plated meal kits at many of its store locations, across its digital channels, and through a variety of distribution options
Plated’s marketing and acquisition efforts will also benefit by gaining exposure to Albertsons’ 35 million customers per week.
“Joining Albertsons Cos. presents an amazing opportunity to accelerate our positive impact on the future of food in America by making fresh, delicious food more widely available,” says Plated’s Hix, who commends Albertsons for being “at the forefront of the changing food and grocery landscape with their customer obsession, their large national store footprint, and their exciting plans for the future of the grocery store.
Further, Hix says the new alliance will enable Albertsons “to shepherd our growth while preserving the unique strengths that define Plated today. There’s tremendous upside for Plated’s customers whose experience with our brand will only get better. As meal kits continue to gain traction in the marketplace, we believe the winning formula combines choice, flexibility, culinary expertise, and the ability for customers to buy across channels – all of which we are now singularly positioned to deliver in collaboration with Albertsons Cos.”
Albertsons Cos. operate stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 banners, including: Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.
Launched in 2012, Plated has rapidly scaled and evolved with a customer-centric model focusing on choice and flexibility to provide a personalized dinner experience. Its culinary team is led by Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef Elana Karp, the company’s chief culinary officer and culinary co-founder.