Now that delivery has rocketed into the Canadian grocery shopper mainstream, Loblaw has added a new layer: meal-kit delivery for the Greater Toronto Area.
A significant trend in recent years, Loblaw entered the Canadian meal-kit market with PC Chef meal kits in 2019. The company had planned to one day introduce a delivery service just for the meal kits, but that was “sped up to meet the unique needs of customers during the pandemic,” Loblaw spokesperson Aly Vitunski, director, external communication, told Canadian Grocer.
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While Loblaw has been developing its own delivery infrastructure in recent years, it partnered with The Organic Box to introduce the meal-kit delivery which, unlike other meal-kit delivery services, does not require a subscription. Each order has a two kit minimum, however. There’s a delivery fee of $5 and customers can request less packaging and no ice packs.
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“As Canadians continue to practice social distancing, we know they are looking for meal-time solutions that are easy and delicious,” said Nick Kuriya, vice-president, Loblaw Brands Meal Solutions, in a release. “PC Chef Meal Kits can be delivered next day in a contactless transaction, simplifying meal planning and making it easier for everyone to stay home.”
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The meal kits include pre-portioned ingredients with step-by-step instructions so customers can cook their meals easily and quickly at home. Loblaw offers eight recipes including Oaxacan-style Pork Tacos, Roasted Jerk Chicken, Thai-Style Basil Beef, Lemon Butter Salmon and vegetarian options such as Paneer Tikka Masala and a Greek Halloumi Bowl.
The new service is available for next-day delivery between Wednesday and Saturday in the GTA, a boundary of roughly Burlington to the West, Vaughan and Markham to the North and Scarborough in the East.
Asked about delivery for Loblaw beyond the meal kits, Vitunski said the company had made changes to adapt to entirely new shopping patterns that quickly emerged during the pandemic. “As the demand grew to levels we didn’t expect for years to come, the business scaled up in order to serve more people, faster, including hiring hundreds of new personal shoppers and adding thousands of slots every week to increase capacity across the country,” she said.
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While demand for PC Express has levelled off, she said Loblaw believes a new normal had been reached and the company would “continue to see higher demand, as people have become comfortable with the technology and accustomed to the convenience.”