- Harris Teeter has partnered with online recipe platform Myxx to create a customized site, HarrisTeeterRecipes.com, where customers can select online recipes and then have a shopping list automatically created for them, according to Retail Leader.
- Consumers can use the shopping list in-store or with a single click have their ‘meal kit’ ingredients sent directly to the retailer’s ExpressLane service for same-day pickup or delivery.
- “Myxx had the experience, digital advertising insight and tech capabilities to create an end-to-end solution for Harris Teeter that connects brands, retailers and consumers in ways previously impossible. And, we were able to roll it out in days, rather than months or years,” Myxx COO Dede Houston told Retail Leader.
Kroger-owned Harris Teeter's new service offers the same personalized service and fresh ingredients that have fueled the meal kit trend. Customers find a recipe and essentially build a "kit" from it. The new online platform at HarrisTeeterReceipes.com provides thousands of recipes to choose from — or customers can opt to upload one of their own. Then technology takes over and an electronic shopping list of all the required ingredients is automatically generated.
Customers can use the list during their routine shopping trip or let Harris Teeter do the shopping for them using the grocer’s online ExpressLane service. When choosing the latter, shoppers must click to add all ingredients to their cart and complete the online buying process, including selecting same-day pickup at the store or home delivery. The site also gives consumers an option to eliminate products from the ingredient list if they already have some common items — like oil, salt, butter, for example — in their pantries.
While the concept seems like a good idea in theory, there seems to be quite a few hoops for shoppers to go through to get a meal on the table. Online meal kits probably still win from a do-it-for-me convenience standpoint, but the lag time in having meals delivered must be taken into consideration. So, in the speed department, the Harris Teeter/Myxx alignment probably gets the nod if customers don’t mind picking up their order. This could give the retailer’s e-commerce efforts a bit of a boost.
The biggest shortcoming is that ingredients aren’t customized or pre-portioned to the recipe. This means that the three tablespoons of butter needed for a One Pan Garlic Herb Chicken recipe, for example, requires purchasing an entire pound of Land O’Lakes butter for $5.99. Ditto for all those herbs and spices the recipe calls for. It’s quite a pricey proposition investing more than $20 to buy bottles of minced garlic, basil, oregano, thyme and onion powder — and that’s before adding the chicken breasts.
Difficulties aside, this partnership shows how eager grocers are to develop meal solutions for a wide range of shoppers. Offering their own meal kits comparable to what Blue Apron or Chef’d offer in-store and online still seems the most appealing proposition, at least from a consumer standpoint. The question is, will retailers develop the kits themselves or perhaps acquire a meal kit company, as Albertsons just did with Plated?