Kroger Starts Serving Up Meals at Walgreens
Building on an exploratory pilot with the drug store chain announced in the fall, Kroger is rolling out a curated assortment of products and Home Chef Express meal kits at select Walgreens stores.
Dubbed "Kroger Express," the curated assortment is currently only available at one Walgreens location in Florence, KY, and will be stocked at 12 other Walgreens test stores by early next year. It comprises 2,300 dairy, meat, produce, frozen products and meal solutions including Home Chef kits, national brands and Kroger private label items that were selected using customer data and insights provided by Kroger subsidiary 84.51°. The participating pilot stores will also let shoppers pick up kroger.com orders.
Home Chef Express meal kits have enjoyed a wider roll out at 65 Walgreens locations in the Chicago area. During the pilot, Walgreens is offering three exclusive meal kits that serve two people, with prices starting at $8.50. Kits at the drug store chain will rotate biweekly. Additional Home Chef Express kits are available at select Mariano's stores in the Chicago area.
"Customers have responded favorably to the retail meal kits at our Mariano's stores in the market and other [Kroger stores] located in different cities," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of merchandising, in a media release. "The Walgreens expansion provides more Chicagoans convenient access to a quick, simple meal."
In participating Chicago Walgreens stores, the meal kits are stocked in refrigerated displays outfitted with a header positioning the SKUs as "15 minute meals." Window posters also tout the kits. In the Kentucky Walgreens test stores, Kroger Express items from brands including private label Simple Truth are stocked on endcaps outfitted with Kroger-branded signage, according to images provided by Kroger.
"We are redefining the customer experience in a variety of ways through Restock Kroger, including innovative partnerships like our test-and-learn pilot with Walgreens. We are excited to enter the next phase of the pilot," Clark said. "The Kroger Express concept creates easy access to our most popular [private label] products through a fill-in grocery shopping experience for Walgreens customers, and our Home Chef Express meal kits provide customers with an on-demand solution for tonight's dinner."
Kroger and Walgreens executives wouldn’t comment on how the companies would share sales revenue or provide financial details of the deal, according to The Wall Street Journal. The retailers will supply and operate the Kroger-branded sections together, officials told the newspaper.
The grocer won’t sell store-brand items that compete with Walgreens’s private-label SKUs, but it will take over its supply for branded goods, The Wall Street Journal reported.