Berlin-based meal kit company HelloFresh, the best-selling meal kit in the United States, is getting into eGrocery. The company announced Wednesday (July 28) its new HelloFresh Market online grocery store, which goes beyond the meal kit to sell produce, packaged foods, and other items one would find at their local grocery store. The U.S. version of the Market, which mirrors the digital grocery store the company currently operates in the Benelux Union, will roll out throughout the country in coming months.
Uwe Voss, CEO of HelloFresh U.S., said in a prepared statement that this “expanded selection” aims to offer items that “will fit [customers’] needs beyond dinnertime,” highlighting the rise in eGrocery throughout the United States as a key contributor to the decision to launch this online marketplace.
The meal kit remains central to this marketplace — grocery items are available only as add-ons to meal kits.
“Building an exceptional meal-kit experience over the past 10 years has been key to establishing strong market leadership,” said Voss. “Through our state-of-the-art supply chain and technology infrastructure, we will provide superior full-service delivery for all meal occasions, and capture a greater share of our customers’ overall food budget.”
The launch of this marketplace could well widen the meal kit service’s lead over U.S. competitor Blue Apron— in the first quarter of 2021, HelloFresh’s U.S. revenue came in at $954 million, while Blue Apron’s net revenue came to just under $130 million.
Stop & Shop Announces Fee-Free Electric Vehicle Charging
Stop & Shop, the Massachusetts-based Ahold Delhaize-owned grocery brand that operates over 400 grocery stores throughout the northeastern United States, announced Tuesday (July 27) that it has installed electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in five of its locations, with plans to add stations to 50 more stores before the end of the year. The chargers, which provide on average 30 miles of driving per hour of charge, are available for use at no additional cost to shoppers.
These stations are created in partnership with Volta Charging, a company that creates EV charging networks and that is currently in the process of being taken public via special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Tortoise Acquisition Corp. II.
“We’re proud to expand our partnership with Stop & Shop to provide greater access to open, reliable and convenient charging infrastructure as we see the shift in electric mobility,” Scott Mercer, founder and CEO of Volta Charging, said in a prepared statement, adding that the company aims to “offer reliable fueling solutions for drivers at the places they visit daily.”
The news comes as a wide range of grocery chains, including major players such as Whole Foods, Kroger, Meijer and Safeway and smaller chains like Wawa and Sheetz, partner with Volta Charging competitor EVgo to bring EV charging stations to their stores.
FreshDirect Launches Express Wine Delivery In Popular Summer Home Areas
Following the Summer 2020 launch of Express Delivery in select markets, FreshDirect is turnings its two-hour order fulfillment capabilities towards a niche but profitable use case — bringing rosé to New Yorkers’ summer homes. The New York-based online grocer, also owned by Ahold Delhaize, announced two-hour wine, beer, and spirits delivery in the Hamptons and Montauk, beachy areas on Long Island to which many people flock in summer months. The service is, of course, titled Rosé Express.
“With the anticipated summer season underway, there’s certainly cause for celebration with family and friends, and we are thrilled to launch Rosé Express, providing service, ease and speed to new levels,” Farhan Siddiqi, interim CEO of FreshDirect, said in a statement, according to Supermarket News. “As a leader in food home delivery, we are always looking for new ways to enhance our customers’ shopping experience.”
UK Grocery Chain’s Plant-Based Brand Comes to US Grocery Stores
Plant-based food brand Wicked Kitchen, which initially launched in partnership with top United Kingdom supermarket chain Tesco, is coming to the United States, appearing on shelves at Sprouts Farmers Market locations and at Kroger-owned grocery stores. The brand announced Tuesday (July 27) that it is bringing more than 20 of its products to 2,500 stores across the country, following Wicked Kitchen’s $14 million Series A fundraise.
“We’re thrilled to launch Wicked Kitchen in the U.S. with Kroger, the nation’s strongest leader in grocery retail,” Pete Speranza, the brand’s CEO, said in a statement. “As was demonstrated by Tesco in the U.K., the breadth of offerings Wicked Kitchen brings to market allows consumers to finally have a plant-based destination with a wide and growing variety of choices that has been lacking in the grocery market.”
Products include a mushroom-based shawarma-style meal base, a kit to make a plant-based korma, and a range of sauces and spreads.
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