This Meal-Kit Service Found Its Future In Grocery Stores

(Author : Andrew Conrad)
Plated, which was recently acquired by Albertsons Companies, thinks standalone meal-kit startups will be out of business by 2020.

Supermarket giant Albertsons Companies, which owns chains such as Acme, Shaw’s and Safeway and more than 2,300 grocery stores total across the U.S., recently purchased meal delivery service Plated for a reported $200 million.

“By the end of 2020, any standalone meal-kit company will be dead, and we’re going to put them out of business,” Plated co-founder Nick Taranto said in a speech at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York City.

For Albertsons, the acquisition represented an opportunity to “focus on innovation, personalization and customization,” according to a press release. Plated kits could soon appear on the shelves at Albertons chain stores or be available for in-store pickup.

The deal gives Plated access to Albertsons base of a reported 35 million customers across 35 states per week. It’s a major breakthrough for a company that got its first national exposure as a funding pitch on ABC’s “Shark Tank” back in 2014 (they accepted $500,000 from Mark Cuban in exchange for a 5.56% stake and advisory shares).

“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,” Plated cofounder and CEO Josh Hix said in a release.

Plated, which is based in New York City, will continue to operate as its own entity under the leadership of Hix. This move puts Plated and Albertsons in an advantageous position, even as Amazon prepares to follow up its acquisition of Whole Foods by rolling out its own meal kit delivery service.

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