State College

Giant brings meal kits to Northland Center store

The kits keep on coming.

Meal delivery kits, a market potentially worth $5 billion over the next decade, continue their quest for the American dinner table, armed with spoons, knives and carefully preselected vegetables. Declining free time paired with an appetite for healthier, naturally sourced products has been a recipe for success for the industry, though some analysts say it is becoming oversaturated. Startups such as Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Plated now account for nearly $1.5 billion in sales, according to market research firm Packaged Facts, and make up a still-callow market more than 150 brands strong. Blue Apron, the bellwether of the group, was founded in 2012.

While meal kits still make up a paltry segment of the food industry, major grocers are pushing in their carts. Whole Foods told investors in July it was getting into the meal kit game, while Amazon is projected to launch its own meal-delivery service later this year, Business Insider reported.

Giant Food Stores rolled out its own meal kit service in December, starting with two locations. Now the Carlisle-based grocer has expanded the kits to 20 stores in Pennsylvania, and recently brought them to its 255 Northland Center store in Ferguson Township.

“I think our customers want to be involved in preparation,” said Samantha Krepps, the public and community relations manager for Giant. “They want to put a meal together faster, and in the end they can save time by getting all the ingredients all in one box.”

The meals, which will rotate with the seasons, take 35 minutes or less to prepare, according to the company. They include premeasured ingredients with step-by-step instructions.

“The fresh meal kits address the white space that exists between the fully prepped, ready-to-go meals and cooking from scratch,” Krepps said. “Consumers want convenience, but they also want to eat well.”

Offerings include lemon thyme chicken thighs with zucchini, grape tomatoes and rice, salmon risotto with asparagus and Parmesan and peppercorn steak with blue cheese sauce, chive mashed potatoes and garlic-roasted broccoli and cauliflower.

The kits, which serve two a box, cost $14.99. Two kits cost $24.99. They can be ordered online for delivery via Peapod, a grocery delivery service, or found in the produce, meat or deli sections of the store.

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy