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Kroger Strengthens Position With Rollout of Home Chef Kits

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The Kroger Co. (KR - Free Report) , which recently brought Home Chef under its umbrella, is making concerted efforts to expand in the growing meal-kits space. Incidentally, the two companies unveiled the launch of Home Chef’s weekly rotating meal kits, which will be available at select Kroger stores.

While the kits will initially fill the racks at select locations, including Kentucky, Wisconsin (Pick 'n Save and Metro Market) and Illinois (Mariano's) among others, Kroger plans to make further Home Chef meal-kit rollouts in 2019.  The Cincinnati-based company stated that customers will get to choose among four Home Chef meal kits every week, while they will also have the convenience of accessing the same recipes and more on Home Chef’s website.

Apart from this, Kroger also revealed plans to test the new Home Chef Express product in limited markets. Home Chef Express product is an attractive quick-cook kit, which is ready to be served in nearly 15 mins. The launch of such innovative in-store products is likely to enhance customers’ experience by offering them convenience and diversity at the same time. 

Notably, Kroger concluded the merger with Home Chef in June 2018. Being a renowned private meal kit name, Home Chef is expected to enrich Kroger’s grocery business, enhance its “Restock Kroger” program and speed up growth in the meal-kit space. In fact, Kroger is not the only retailer to be applying this mantra.

Walmart (WMT - Free Report) also ventured into the meal-kits space last year, when there was a lot of buzz about the world’s largest retailer’s plans to sell meal-kits online through alliances with Home Chef and Takeout Kit. This, in fact, was another move by the supermarket biggie to counter Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) , which had already played its meal-kit card earlier. Well, such moves are likely to give competition to players like Blue Apron (APRN - Free Report) , HelloFresh and Plated.

Coming back to Kroger, this grocery behemoth has been focused on stepping up its game and staying afloat amid a competitive grocery space. To this end, Kroger is introducing new items, digital coupons and order online pick up in store strategy. The company also launched natural and organic e-commerce website as part of its omni-channel endeavors. Additionally, the company’s “Restock Kroger” program is reaping results.

We expect such efforts to help this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company stay firm amid competitors and continue with its growth story. Markedly, Kroger has gained 18.7% in the past six months, outperforming the industry’s growth of 16.7%.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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