DEERFIELD, Ill. — Kroger Co. and Walgreens unveiled two major initiatives, building on the exploratory pilot the companies announced in October, combining America’s food and grocery authority with Walgreens’ global expertise in pharmacy, health and beauty.
“We are redefining the customer experience in a variety of ways through Restock Kroger, including innovative partnerships like our test-and-learn pilot with Walgreens. We are excited to enter the next phase of the pilot,” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising. “The Kroger Express concept creates easy access to our most popular Our Brands products through a fill-in grocery shopping experience for Walgreens customers, and our Home Chef Express meal kits provide customers with an on-demand solution for tonight’s dinner.”
“We’re pleased to continue working together to explore new concepts that expand product selection to provide a better shopping experience and greater value for our customers,” commented Walgreens president of operations Richard Ashworth.
Kroger Express — a curated assortment of 2,300 products, selected using customer data and insights provided by Kroger subsidiary 84.51° — will soon be offered at the 13 Walgreens test stores in northern Kentucky, near Kroger’s Cincinnati headquarters. The Kroger Express selection will include Home Chef meal kits, national products and Kroger’s popular Our Brands products, highlighting America’s largest natural and organic brand Simple Truth, along with dairy, meat, produce, frozen and meal solutions.
The first concept is operational in Florence, Ky. The remaining 12 pilot stores will be operational early next year. (More images of the store are on page TK.)
As announced in October, the participating pilot stores are offering a one-stop shopping experience where customers can access products from both brands and order groceries on kroger.com for pickup at Walgreens. Kroger Express marks an expansion of the original offering.
The company also rolled out Home Chef Express meal kits in 65 Walgreens locations in the Chicago area.
The new offering enhances the reach of Home Chef Express products, already available at certain Kroger Family of Stores, including select Mariano’s stores in the Chicago area. During the pilot, Walgreens will offer three unique Home Chef Express meal kit options, with recipes rotating biweekly. Other recipes are available for delivery through homechef.com, where shoppers can find additional weekly variety.
Each meal serves two and starts at $8.50 per serving. Information about participating locations is available at homechef.com/grocery.
“Customers have responded favorably to the retail meal kits at our Mariano’s stores in the market and other Kroger Family of Stores located in different cities. The Walgreens expansion provides more Chicagoans convenient access to a quick, simple meal,” added Clark.
“Making Home Chef Express meals available at Walgreens is another way Home Chef is making meal time easy,” said Pat Vihtelic, Home Chef chief executive officer and founder. “The Express recipes, which cook in 15 minutes, are meals anyone can cook and everyone will love.”