Home Chef, the meal kit brand run as a subsidiary of The Kroger Co., has its eye on competing with restaurant delivery. The company has rolled out new partnerships and a new facility to expand its delivery capabilities as it seeks to become a prepared-meal alternative for consumers.
Home Chef continues to capture restaurant delivery market share as many shoppers are not willing to bear the cost of on-demand restaurant delivery during these inflationary times.
The company’s growth is part of the broader acceleration of online grocery sales, which grew nearly 4% during the third quarter, to $24.1 billion, compared to the same period last year, driven by significant gains in delivery, Brick Meets Click and Mercatus reported last month.
Food retailers are focusing on investments in new technologies (73%) like foodservice ordering and delivery, according to FMI—The Food Industry Association’s annual comprehensive research report, The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2022.
Home Chef is looking to capitalize on rising consumer demand for delivery of restaurant-quality meals at grocery prices. The meal solution company recently leased a 181,000 square-foot location at 2120 Skyview Drive in Douglasville, Georgia, as it looks to expand its presence in the Southeast.
"Our Atlanta facility is a foundational part of delivering high-quality meals to our customers in the south and beyond," Erik Jensen, Home Chef's CEO, said in a statement. "This brand-new center will make our production and distribution even more efficient, so we can continue to bring fans easy, delicious recipes."
In 2021, U.S. food-away-from-home spending was 10% higher than pre-pandemic levels, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) analysis.
As a result, retailers are capturing new consumers with the at-home trend sticking, and Home Chef is creating unique partnerships and menu items to heighten its offerings.
“Our new take-and-bake-style pizzas and flatbreads offer the convenience of a takeout pizza night without the delivery fees and long wait times,” Teresa Sabatino, director of customer marketing at Home Chef, told WGB. “Our new Rachael Ray meal kits are available in-store and come with pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-make recipes, so customers can now get everything they need to recreate Rachael's iconic, delicious meals at home, all in one box.”