Kroger buys Chicago-based meal delivery startup

By May 24, 2018

Kroger grocery chain is going all in on the home delivery market.

After just recently announcing a deal with UK-based Ocado to automate its delivery orders, Kroger has bought Chicago’s Home Chef meal delivery startup for $200 million. Home Chef delivers easy-to-make meals sent to users’ front doorsteps in a box after they go online to select their favorite ingredients.

“We know our customers would love to see more Home Chef meal kits on grocery store shelves,” Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef CEO, told the Chicago Tribune. “What this allows us to do is to be everywhere our customers are.”

The company has said it makes 3 million deliveries a month and rakes in $250 million in revenue while employing 1,000 workers, making it a formidable partner for the largest grocery chain in the United States. Kroger is expected to make Home Chef’s meals available on its online store once the deal is wrapped up.

As Techli previously reported, Kroger’s recent moves come in direct response to the growing threat of Amazon in the grocery industry, as both mega-companies are trying to ease the process by bringing supermarket products to customers’ doors.

“Our real objective with Home Chef is to bring our assets to the table and help them make simpler, easier, better meal solutions available to every family in America,” Kroger’s chief digital officer Yael Cosset told the Chicago Tribune. “Every community will have access either through their store or online access to the service.”

Founded in 2013, Home Chef markets most of its meals on its website for $9.95. These include steak with Tuscon corn saute, a Vietnamese steak sandwich, and Al Pastor pork flautas, among many other meal varieties.


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