Albertsons buys meal-kit delivery provider Plated: Reuters

(Reuters) – Albertsons Cos Inc (ABS.N), one of America’s biggest supermarket chains, said on Wednesday it would buy meal-kit delivery service Plated, as it looks to attract more customers to its stores amid increased competition.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Albertsons’ expansion into meal kits, which deliver fresh ingredients and recipes to subscribers, comes less than a month after Inc’s (AMZN.O) entry into the grocery market with its acquisition of Whole Foods Market.
Amazon’s entry is expected to increase pricing pressure on retailers.

The Albertsons-Plated deal also comes a few months after Blue Apron Holdings (APRN.N) became the first U.S. meal-kit company to go public and as more and more food companies take an interest in the meal-kit delivery industry.

Nestle SA (NESN.S) led a $77 million investment round in meal-kit company Freshly in June, while Unilever Plc’s venture capital arm (ULVR.L) led a $9.2 million investment in organic meal delivery service Sun Basket in May.

Amazon is also exploring technology to produce ready-to-eat meals to be delivered through its AmazonFresh service, Reuters reported last month.

Albertsons said Plated meal kits would be offered at its store locations, online, and through a variety of distribution options.

Plated, launched in 2012, is headquartered in New York and has its distribution centers across the United States, Albertsons said. The service became popular after it was featured on the reality show, “Shark Tank”, in 2014.