Albertsons to Buy Meal-Kit Company Plated

Albertsons to Buy Meal-Kit Company Plated”

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

The terms of the Albertsons-Plated deal were not disclosed, but the Plated acquisition is expected to close later this month, Albertsons said in a statement. Plated was ranked the best meal-kit service by Money magazine earlier this year. Together, they will leverage their diverse and complementary strengths to serve customers in a way that appeals to the evolving lifestyles and food preferences of people across the country.

In a first for national grocery chains, Albertsons is buying the healthy meal kit delivery startup Plated for an undisclosed amount, brokered by Credit Suisse Group AG. Meanwhile, Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, Inc. has given many grocers concern over their main brick-and-border food business.

Some meal kit services are faltering, including the largest company in the space, Blue Apron, which has seen a drop in both subscriptions and its stock price since its initial public offering - though some of that dip could be attributed to higher costs of running its new East Coast operations and Amazon's push into the meal delivery service.

Meal kits in the meantime are thought to account for at least some element of the declining fortunes of grocery stores like Albertsons, which reported that sales increased by 0.4% during its most recent fiscal quarter, while comparable-store sales were down by 2.1%.

"Today's consumer is looking for a variety of personalized shopping alternatives, and this transaction is the latest example of Albertsons Cos. meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop", said Bob Miller, Chairman and CEO of Albertsons Companies. "We are excited to offer our customers more online options and fresh, quality ingredients along with distinctive recipes at their doorstep or through traditional shopping trips".

Boise-based Albertsons Cos. operates stores across 35 states and Washington, D.C., under 20 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.

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