Boise, ID — The plan by the nation’s second-largest retailer, Albertsons Cos., to acquire the Plated meal kit service, is good news for the beleaguered Blue Apron, whose stock rose 3.4% after the deal was announced.
On Wednesday, the 2,300-store retailer said it will operate Plated as a wholly-owned subsidiary and start selling meal kits in store, across its digital channels and through a variety of distribution options. Plated benefits through exposure to the 35 million weekly Albertsons customers.
“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, in a statement.
“With Plated, we’ve found a partner who shares our commitment to delicious, affordable food; superior technology and innovation; and world class customer service. Plated knows its customers better than anyone, and together we will accelerate our ability to serve them. 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.”
News of the deal helped lift depressed Blue Apron stock, as analysts speculated that meal kit company might be attractive to a supermarket as well. The meal kit category has been active, with Nestle investing in a $77 million round in the startup Freshly.
The price of the Albertsons deal was not disclosed. It is expected to close this month.
Plated was founded five years ago by Josh Hix and Nick Taranto. The company says it leverages data and technology to “disrupt the traditional food supply chain and make it easy for people to cook delicious meals at home.” Plated’s culinary team is led by Elana Karp, a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef.
Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is likely to introduce meal kits to the lineup of fresh delivery options.