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Following The Buzz

Better Private Label Meal Planning

May 29, 2014

By the time you read this, I’ll be on maternity leave, a prospect that has left me looking for ways to expedite my shopping habits.

Meal kit delivery services are one solution I’ve come across. And I’m not the only one. In April, ABC News reported that Blue Apron was valued at more than $500 million, and the two co-founders behind Plated appeared on an episode of “Shark Tank.”

Delivery services like these send shoppers pre-portioned ingredients to prepare specific recipes at home. Offering meal kits and doing the shopping for your customers, either for a recipe of their choosing or for one you provide, opens up a world of opportunity for store brands.

New York–area online grocer FreshDirect is offering meal kits under its Smart & Simple line, such as Chicken Soft Tacos, Yogurt Chicken and Roasted Vegetables, Chicken Souvlaki, and Verlasso Salmon and Green Tea Soba. The kits serve two and are simple to prepare, with premade dressings.

FreshDirect also offers One-Click Recipes. These allow shoppers to “click to buy” all of a recipe’s ingredients, automatically assigning one product option to the shopper’s virtual cart, which shoppers can easily delete. Ingredients are broken down by what the retailer thinks the shopper will need, including optional garnishes, and items the shopper may already have, so adding to or deleting from the shopping list is easy. Shoppers can even have a copy of the recipe emailed to them on the day of delivery.

Similarly, Peapod by Stop & Shop allows shoppers to view a recipe and add the ingredients to an online shopping list for delivery. It takes them through each ingredient, allowing choices from brands available, including store brands Nature’s Promise and Stop & Shop. The retailer currently offers free next day pick up.

Like FreshDirect, Shoprite’s recipe center allows shoppers to “select all” ingredients in a recipe and add them instantly to a shopping list, which can be viewed on the Shoprite mobile app. Ingredients that get added are often Shoprite brand products.

 Offering grocery bags filled with store brands to complete recipes or meal kits with pre-portioned ingredients could drive shopper loyalty. Options like these don’t just save shoppers time, they introduce them to new ingredients—and offer unique branding opportunities. 

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