Monday, October 15, 2018

Kroger’s Meal Kit Miscue

This summer Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® received a gift certificate for a Home Chef Meal Kit.  He (I) was excited, since I have experience with several other international meal kits companies, I could not wait to see just what Kroger would do.  Knowing that Kroger had acquired Home Chef; I wanted to see what a legacy grocer with 18+ banners and many brands could do with meal kits. 
Kroger had acquired the Chicago-based meal kit service for $200 million in May in a deal that allowed the company to continue its online operations while taking over responsibility for Kroger's meal solutions portfolio. One problem when I received my Gift Card in July the website was not accepting Online orders. 
I was stifled, personally disappointed, but professionally not surprised. I don’t want to dwell on this point but as you can imagine the disappointment on the gift givers face when she asked me how the meal was and I informed her what happened. So, I asked myself why would Kroger buy a Meal Kit company?
Ok, I can’t find a rational answer except to think they wanted to garner some incremental positive press with wall street types.  Looking at their stork price it does not look like I was right there either. The Kroger Home Chef's meal kits, start at $8.50 per serving, at test outlets, with expansions planned for 2019. Each week, four meal kit options will be available with additional varieties offered through
So, have any of you tried the new in store offerings? If so drop me a note at: and let me know what you think.  If success leaves clues and it does it just might be that many legacy grocery stores do not understand the customer as well as they do category management tactics.  We all have learned one success clue; that is, tactics are no substitute for strategy. Does your companies’ tactics look more like yesterday than today or tomorrow? 
Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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