The Kroger Co. is hitting on several hallmarks of private brands — tangible and intangible — in a new partnership the Cincinnati-based grocer is launching with a food service provider to deliver fresh meals super quickly without fees called Kroger Delivery Kitchen.
Kroger announced it’s teaming with Indianapolis-based ClusterTruck, a software platform that powers profitable, vertically integrated delivery-only kitchens, to change the way Americans access freshly prepared meals. By offering multiple menus from one central scratch kitchen, Kroger Delivery Kitchen will deliver fresh and delicious meals on-demand without service or delivery fees, the retailer said.
Kroger Delivery Kitchen powered by ClusterTruck will launch initially in Carmel, Ind. – where Kroger and ClusterTruck are jointly opening a fourth kitchen – as well as Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. Additionally, King Soopers Delivery Kitchen Powered by ClusterTruck will serve customers in Denver. King Soopers is a Kroger banner based in Denver.
“We see the partnership as an extension of our ‘Fresh for Everyone’ message, so we are eager to learn the potential appeal of a venture with ClusterTruck,” Kroger Spokesman Eric Halvorson told the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ). “We recognize the talent in the ClusterTruck kitchen and its ability to serve high-quality meals, quickly.”
According to IBJ, ClusterTruck is providing the technology and the employees to cook and deliver the food. Kroger will provide marketing and branding. The partnership happened after ClusterTruck pitched Kroger on the idea about nine months ago. If successful, the program could expand nationwide, IBJ reported.
"The way our customers order and receive meals is evolving, and ClusterTruck's innovative culinary and digital design is cracking the code for the future of profitable meal delivery," said Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief information officer. "Kroger is leveraging ClusterTruck's advanced technology to ensure our customers don't have to sacrifice quality and value for convenience when it comes to meal delivery. Kroger Delivery Kitchen powered by ClusterTruck will allow our customers to access restaurant-quality fresh and delicious meals like never before and without having to pay excessive service or delivery fees."
Customers in Carmel, Indianapolis and Columbus delivery zones can go to KrogerDeliveryKitchen.com to place their orders online or download the ClusterTruck app. Customers in Denver can visit KingSoopersDeliveryKitchen.com.
ClusterTruck was co-founded in 2015 and launched its first kitchen in 2016. The company owns and operates vertically integrated delivery-only kitchens. ClusterTruck's dark kitchens are powered by a proprietary software system that uses custom algorithms to optimize kitchen and delivery operations. This systematic approach to meal delivery ensures that nearly every order is in the hands of the customer within seven minutes of the meal's preparation. The average time between placing an order and a customer receiving their food is less than 30 minutes.
"ClusterTruck's ultra-fresh and quick made-from-scratch meals set them apart in the food delivery landscape," said Suzy Monford, Kroger's group vice president of fresh. "Kroger Delivery Kitchen customers can order pizza or pad Thai on the same order and get it delivered hot and fresh, within minutes of the meals being prepared. We are excited to work together to bring this partnership to life to provide our customers with real food delivered to their doorstep."