Home Chef, the meal kit brand run as a subsidiary of The Kroger Co., is eyeing a larger presence in the Southeast to serve its growing customer base.
The meal solution company said on Tuesday it has leased a 181,000 square-foot location at 2120 Skyview Drive in Douglasville, Ga.—the company’s newest single-tenant facility.
"The Douglasville location will be the first Home Chef facility to incorporate a full-service kitchen for cooking and batch production of ingredients to be used in the company's meals," Home Chef said in a statement. “This 6,000 square-foot space will handle the cooking of vegetables, starches, and grains, as well as in-house sauce production.”
The new production center, which will employ close to 700 associates, will be equipped with state-of-the-art features including upgraded food-safe material design, cleaning processes, facility flow, and more.
"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."
Local officials welcomed the news of the Home Chef facility and the positive impact it will have on the community.
"I'm thrilled that Home Chef decided to bring its business to Douglasville," said Douglasville Mayor Rochelle Robinson. "Once again, Douglasville proves it is the place to do business in metro Atlanta, and I can't wait to see the positive economic impact this Home Chef development will have on the Douglasville community, which is always open for business."
The facility comes at a competitive and rapidly evolving time in the meal kit space. Last month, Walmart entered a partnership with Blue Apron, which gives its shoppers the ability to go to Walmart.com and purchase Blue Apron meal kits without a subscription.
Home Chef is the meal kit brand run as a subsidiary of The Kroger Co., offering direct-to-consumer subscriptions for home delivery as well as a variety of meal solutions, including traditional meal kits, oven-ready dinners, and ready-to-heat meals at Kroger stores.
Kroger merged with Chicago-based Home Chef in 2018, in a transaction with an initial price of $200 million, with future earnout payments of up to $500 million over five years contingent on achieving certain milestones, including significant growth of in-store and online meal kit sales.