Kroger Health, part of the Kroger Co., is teaming up with Performance Kitchen to offer medically tailored meals to people with chronic conditions.
The partnership marks the first time Kroger Health is offering registered-dietitian-approved meals as a nutritious intervention for people living with conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It is an extension of the company’s existing efforts in the food-as-medicine space.
Performance Kitchen’s team of chefs, doctors and registered dietitians focuses on delivering nutritionally balanced meals using high-quality proteins, full servings of vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains and fiber while limiting sodium and added sugar. The meals are frozen, single serve and ready to heat. The company has been delivering meals to qualifying health plan members since 2021.
The meals are aimed at diverse populations with culturally relevant foods and feature options like chicken Dijon with kale, Moroccan-style chicken with quinoa, vegetable chickpea curry and salmon pasta. Medically tailored meals are created to meet the specific needs of individuals and may significantly improve a person’s overall health. The meals will be approved by Performance Kitchen’s team as well as Kroger Health registered dietitians.
Medically tailored meals “help us achieve our goal of making sure people have access to food that helps them feel their best and improve their health," Taylor Newman, Ph.D., director of nutrition at Kroger Health, said in a press release. "While the meals are personalized for an individual's specific health condition, we're also proud to offer a variety of culturally diverse recipes and flavors to make sure everyone's needs are met."
In an announcement, Kroger cited an evidence review and national simulation study by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University that found such meals could help prevent 1.6 million hospitalizations and save payers $13.6 billion in one year after paying for the cost of food. The researchers found that over a 10-year period, $185.1 billion less could be spent on healthcare with nearly 18.3 million hospitalizations averted.
"We believe in empowering people with resources to help them make healthy choices that will deliver the best outcomes for them," James Kirby, chief commercial officer at Kroger Health, said in a press release. "Through better options and access, we are assisting people in improving their quality of life, disease prevention and management."
Kroger can pair the meals with its other services like virtual appointments with registered dietitians and access to healthy groceries. For its telenutrition offerings, Kroger currently accepts UnitedHealthcare, Ambetter and Anthem insurance in certain states and for certain employer groups, per its website.