Publix trials new seafood-starring meal kits

Published on
May 18, 2017

Publix, a chain of 1,144 supermarkets located throughout the Southeast United States, is highlighting seafood in its test of meal kits in two of its stores.

The grocer is the latest to enter the meal kit market, joining recent initiates such as Amazon, which said it will be offering meal kit options in certain cities. The space is currently dominated by Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, but other U.S. grocery chains, such as Kroger, have begun offering meal kits in recent months.

“We recognize that convenience is important to our customers. This is our next natural evolution to what we are already doing,” Brian West, media and community relations manager for Publix, told SeafoodSource.

At one of Publix’s stores in Tampa and one in Orlando the kits are being offered in a refrigerated case in the retailer’s Aprons Simple Meals department. Prices range from USD 9.99 (EUR 8.96) to USD 39.99 (EUR 35.87) for the kits that feed between two and four people — which is detailed on the recipe card attached to the brown paper bag kits.

"These new meal kits include perfectly-portioned, high quality ingredients for you to prepare a restaurant-style dinner at home," Publix said in a press statement about the kits.

Some of the proteins featured in the six different meal kits include shrimp, salmon, bratwurst, pork and chicken. However, the meal kit ingredients will constantly change, West said.

One of the seafood-focused kits includes all the ingredients to make Smoked Maple Salmon with Corn and Portabella Mushroom Succotash – the kit retails for USD 39.99 (EUR 35.87) and feeds four people. Another kit, which retails for USD 37.99 (EUR 34.08), supplies all the ingredients to make Chipotle Shrimp Tacos for four.

The kits range from “Simple”, “Simpler” and “Simplest”, depending on the amount of ingredients in the bag and the preparation time. “Someone who is just learning would grab the ‘simplest meal,’ which might have four to five ingredients,” West said.

While the meal kits are currently in test mode, “We are certainly hopeful that it will expand to more stores,” West said. “That is yet to be figured out.”

The kits are a “natural evolution of what we have been doing for 20 years now,” West said. “We began an Apron Simple Meals program in the late 90s, which has evolved into our cooking schools. This is making that process even more convenient to our customers.”

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