Loblaw tests and expects to build out President’s Choice meal kits

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Loblaw, Canada’s largest grocer, is testing a meal kit service under its President’s Choice private brand in 13 stores in the Toronto area and through its PC Express online marketplace and grocery pickup service.

The meal kit business is one that the retailer is reportedly very interested in, having created a new “meal solutions” division to further investigate the trend, as well as the evolving food and dinner prep habits of Canadian shoppers, according to an article in The Financial Post.

Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, Loblaw Cos. Ltd. runs more than 2,300 stores, including its namesake store, Real Canadian Superstore and Atlantic Superstore.

Market researcher NPD Group reported that a little more than one in 10 Canadians have tried a meal kit service in the past year and that the segment is growing, expecting to earn more than $400 million in the next year. That number is double since 2014.

In the U.S., meal kits have evolved from primarily being a subscription-based service (think Blue Apron) to an in-store and online on-demand service, according to NPD Group. The company says that there are 93 million consumers who haven’t tried a meal kit but are interested in it, developing a bit of an untapped market in the U.S.

Loblaw’s President’s Choice meal kit service would compete with established services in Canada such as Chefs Plate, Goodfood and Hello Fresh, as well as online grocery delivery from Walmart and Amazon.