Online grocery service Peapod is expanding its selection and distribution of meal kits.
The Ahold Delhaize USA subsidiary said it plans to roll out more than 40 new meal kits through next spring. As part of the expansion, the kits will become more readily available this fall to consumers in Connecticut and other areas of New England, who will also see a greater variety of recipes.
Popular meal kits added recently, Peapod said, include limited-edition chicken tinga tacos by Chef Jon Zaragoza and Diet Coke; vegan General Tso’s tofu by Chef Chloe Coscarelli; and glazed beef tenderloin skewers, cauliflower and tabbouleh by Wildfire.
Since the spring, Peapod has released more than 15 new meal kits, all containing premeasured, precut and prewashed fresh ingredients.
The steak au poivre is a favorite in New England.
Peapod noted that it has seen a strong customer response as its meal kit selection has expanded, with the kits consistently getting four- and five-star ratings. Peapod meal kit consumers are typically heavy users of the online grocery service, and the basket size including a meal kit is 11% larger than the average basket size, the company said.
“The Peapod customer is busy, and they come to us because they’re looking for a convenient and simplified option for grocery shopping,” Spencer Baird, senior vice president of merchandising for Peapod, said in a statement. “We want to take that a step further by having options to make their lives even easier, and through offering items that simplify the cooking process and provide shortcuts, we’re helping them make the most of mealtimes. Customers who shop with Peapod can combine their weekly grocery shopping essentials with convenience cuts and meal kits, equipping them with everything they need to conquer a busy week.”
Favorite meal kits vary across Peapod’s markets, the company added. The top three kits in each region are the following:
New York/New Jersey: Zucchini noodles with veggie primavera by Hunt’s, big bowl basil chicken with artichoke hearts and spinach over penne, and big bowl beef and broccoli with Uncle Ben’s jasmine rice.
Chicago/Wisconsin: Big bowl beef and broccoli with jasmine rice, sweet and savory pork tacos by Frontera, and Carolina pulled pork by Zen of Slow Cooking.
Pennsylvania: Bacon- and feta-topped chicken breast with broccoli and potatoes, sweet and savory pork tacos by Frontera, and chicken pot pie by Campbell’s.
D.C. region: Bacon- and feta-topped chicken breast with broccoli and potatoes, big bowl beef and broccoli with Uncle Ben’s jasmine rice, and basil chicken with artichoke hearts and spinach over penne.
New England: Bacon- and feta-topped chicken breast with broccoli and potatoes, basil chicken with artichoke hearts and spinach over penne, and steak au poivre.
In developing new meal kit recipes, Peapod has partnered with a range of consumer packaged goods companies and brands, such as Campbell’s, Uncle Ben’s, Conagra and PepsiCo.
“Working with Peapod to create meal kits featuring Seeds of Change and Uncle Ben’s has been an amazing way for us to introduce our products to new consumers,” said Dan Jackson, vice president of marketing at Mars Food North America. “Together, we’re able to provide recipe inspiration that is convenient, healthy and delivers big on flavor.”
Chicago-based Peapod serves 24 metropolitan markets in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. The online grocer delivers to homes and businesses and has more than 200 pickup locations.