Shoppers can pick up prescriptions and a pre-packed dinner at the drugstore, as meal kit company Chef’d has started selling its meal kits at Walgreens and Duane Reade.
Supermarket News reports that Chef’d and Smithfield Foods have teamed up on a pilot program to offer three different meal kits in 30 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores across New York City and parts of New Jersey. The Chef’d meal kits will retail for $15.99 and serve two or more people.
Grabbing dinner just down the aisle from where you buy Dramamine may seem a bit incongruous at first. But drugstores have long since evolved beyond just aisles of medicine cabinet items and helpful pharmacists in white lab coats to carrying items for just about every room of the house.
It’s even less surprising that Chef’d is the meal kit company expanding into drugstores, as the company has been a vanguard in its sales channels strategy. Unlike its competitors, Chef’d works with a wide range of white label partners including Campbell’s, Good Housekeeping, and Coca Cola.
Chef’d was also an early adopter of a brick-and-mortar retail strategy, selling its meal kits through Costco, and then expanding into more than a dozen retailers last month through a partnership with Smithfield. Just about every other meal kit company since the start of this year has jumped on the retail bandwagon.
But in addition to supermarket shelves, Chef’d, which we named as one of our Top 25 Food Tech Companies Changing the Way We Eat, continues to innovate in other ways. Last month, it partnered with Byte Foods to make meal kits available in office fridges, and Chef’d recently teamed up with Innit in a move that inches us closer to customizeable shoppable recipes.
Diversification into drugstores and other non-traditional sales platforms may actually be necessary for Chef’d, as grocery giants have been gobbling up meal kit companies left and right. Albertsons now owns Plated and Kroger bought Home Chef, not to mention the fact that Amazon/Whole Foods and Walmart are making their own meal kits — which means that Chef’d could be boxed out of those store aisles altogether.
That pressure from the big retailers seems to be pushing Chef’d into different corners of the retail world. I wouldn’t be surprised to see meal kits pop up in convenience stores, gyms or other places you could grab dinner on your way home.