Costco jumps on the meal kit train
A new, fresh and preservative-free meal kit brand is debuting at Costco, the first time the warehouse has offered meal kits to shoppers.
True Food Innovations is rolling out Chef Meal Kits at Costco stores in Texas, as well as at Bashas' grocery stores throughout Arizona. A nationwide rollout will begin in February and continue throughout 2018.
The True Chef Meal Kits rolling out at Costco are free of artificial colors, preservatives and flavors, company officials said. The kits feature a long shelf life by using patented formulations and high pressure processing recognized by the FDA as a natural food processing technique.
"We have developed first of its kind patent pending formulations for fresh meal kits that are specifically designed for retail," said Robert Jones, President of True Food Innovations. "Families can now enjoy delicious, safer, and all-natural, restaurant-quality meals made right at home and purchased locally at your favorite club or grocery store."
The meal kit market has ballooned to $5 billion in sales, according to 2017 data from Packaged Facts. At the same time, the meal kit phenomenon has morphed to include prepared foods ready for in home consumption after heating and other variations (Read Retail Leader's meal kits story on Costco here).
Several retailers such as Albertsons, Kroger and Publix have gotten into the meal kit game in the past year as they look to tap into some of that sales growth.
After facing a slowdown in sales growth during 2016, comp sales trends began to strengthen at Costco Wholesale last spring and the retailer's momentum has only revved up in the last few months.