Walgreens and Kroger Expand Relationship with ‘Kroger Express’ Shops

Announcing the partnership just a few months ago, The Kroger Co has now released plans to roll out a brand new curated assortment of grocery products and Home Chef meal kits that will be available at select Walgreens drugstore locations.  You may recall that Kroger acquired the Home Chef meal kit home delivery company this past May.

On Tuesday, both companies stated that this new catalog of 2,300 products—bearing the “Kroger Express” brand—will soon be available at 13 Walgreens stores in northern Kentucky stores, near the company’s headquarters in Cincinnati.

As such, the new Kroger Express program and Home Chef meal kit combination roll out the build on the pilot program unveiled by Kroger and Walgreens in October.  This pilot tested the accessibility and efficiency of consumers ordering Kroger groceries online and picking them up at participating outlets in those Kentucky stores.

Obviously, Home Chef meal kits will be one of the products available in these stores but the expansion will also include Kroger brands—like an organic label and Simple Truth—as well as national brand products. This includes home staples like meat, produce, dairy, and frozen items, and even some meal solutions.  The products they have chosen were curated out of customer data and insights gathered through Kroger’s data analytics and consumer intelligence department.

Kroger started the Home Chef meal kits at the Mariano locations in Illinois (which includes Chicago) as well as the Pick ‘n’ Save and Metro Market stores through Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Obviously, Kroger is looking to expand retail distribution of these new Home Chef meal kits to more markets through next year.

After the Kentucky stores, Kroger also says that its Walgreens partnership launched the Home Chef Express meal kits at 65 Walgreens stores located in the Chicago area.   And the Kroger-Walgreens partnership will certainly expand the Chicago-based Home Chef Express audience.  Actually, Walgreens is set to carry three exclusive Home Chef Express meal kits with recipes rotating biweekly.  Each of these meals serves two people and start at the competitive price of $8.50 per serving.

At the end of the day, this is also a smart move because brick-and-mortar businesses like pharmacies and grocery stores have been looking for new ways to outmaneuver encroaching competition from online companies. With the Walmart partnering with Anthem and CVS in talks over an Aetna merger, the Walgreens-Kroger partnership makes a lot of sense.

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