Kroger’s Home Chef meal kit biz joins the billion dollar sales club
The Kroger Co. and its Home Chef subsidiary announced yesterday that the meal kit service has reached $1 billion in annual sales.
Home Chef, which was founded in 2013 and acquired by Kroger in 2018, comes off a record year in 2020, benefitting from Americans eating more meals at home during the pandemic. The service offers traditional meal kits that instruct consumers to prepare supplied ingredients, as well as options for those not looking to do it themselves.
“We’re on a mission to make mealtime easier with fresh ingredients and simple instructions,” said Erik Jensen, president of Home Chef, in a statement. “By offering time-saving meal solutions at Kroger Family of Stores, we’re able to simplify the cooking process, provide a wide variety of options, and allow customers to enjoy a delicious homemade experience. We’re excited to continue scaling the brand and creating new products that are accessible to customers nationwide.”
Home Chef offers more than 500 products across categories. It has expanded from its meal kit beginning to incorporate heat-and-eat meals, ready-to-eat products and seasonal options. The brand’s products are available at more than 2,200 Kroger-owned chain stores across the U.S. and through a home delivery subscription at homechef.com.
Dan De La Rosa, Kroger’s group vice president of fresh merchandising, said the supermarket giant’s “Fresh for Everyone” commitment is exemplified by the Home Chef brand. The line helps Kroger “bring families together in the kitchen with meal options for any occasion,” he said.
Kroger sees plenty of upside for Home Chef and is committed to seeking ongoing opportunities to make the brand a household name in America.
“Whether it’s meal kits, or heat-and-eat and ready-to-cook solutions — which are available via subscription, in-store, pickup, or delivery — it’s safe to say that Home Chef has mealtime covered,” said Mr. De La Rosa.
Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef founder and CEO, said, “We’ve grown from delivering meals [in 2013] with a rented truck to becoming a leading brand for Kroger. With Kroger’s support, our two brands offer a collective passion to make mealtime easy and bring people together over a meal.”
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DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the current opportunities and challenges facing meal kit brands? What is your assessment of Kroger’s handling of Home Chef and do you see significant growth potential for the brand going forward?