HelloFresh joins Plated — which last year sold to Albertsons and Blue Apron, which itself just began selling in Costco Wholesale — in seeking a retail partner. Amid a struggle with user retention, meal kit services have been seeking out brick and mortar partners, where shoppers can use their products without subscribing.
HelloFresh is starting the service in 581 stores, largely concentrated in the Northeast. It is looking for further retail partners as well, said Tobias Hartmann, the company’s president of U.S. business.
To support the move into retail, HelloFresh built out its network from five to 11 facilities, and plans more expansion in the future.
It is also experimenting to see which to which recipes and packaging work best in retailers and appeal most to shoppers. To start, recipes include Peppercorn Steak and Mediterranean Style Chicken.
For grocers, meal kits offer a lure to bring shoppers into stores, as it becomes increasingly easy to buy food staples online.