Albertsons has reportedly laid off 10 percent of the staff at Plated, a national meal kit service the West Coast grocery giant purchased in 2017. According to the report, the layoffs impacted 25 of Plated’s employees. In a statement, Albertsons spokeswoman, Christine Wilcox, said the move was intended “to reduce expenses and better utilize the larger company’s operations structure.”
After acquiring Plated, Albertsons began placing Plated meals in some of its stores. Based in Boise, Idaho, Albertsons has more than 2,300 food and drug stores in 35 states, including the Vons, Safeway, Tom Thumb and Jewel brands.
While many meal-delivery services have struggled, with Blue Apron as the most visible case, the industry has pivoted to a larger presence online and in brick-and-mortar stores. In a story in this month’s Restaurant Finance Monitor, analyst Bonnie Riggs said this evolution is “a game changer” for the food industry.
Riggs quoted research firm NPD that found 93 million consumers have never tried a meal kit, but report being interested in such a service. As the micro-category continues trying new tactics, the ultimate challenge is still converting those tire-kickers into actual customers who stay beyond the discounted trial periods.