Morrisons has launched a new meal kit delivery service aimed at undercutting dominant players in the market, including Hello Fresh and Gousto.
The supermarket’s new ‘Eat Fresh’ boxes are available to order from this week, for delivery nationwide.
CEO David Potts told The Grocer he believed there was a mainstream market for the boxes, pledging its new service was “not just aimed at posh parts of London”.
The Eat Fresh boxes come in at £25 including three meals for two, compared with £29.99 from Hello Fresh or Gousto and £39 from Waitrose Cook Well, excluding introductory offers.
The Morrisons meals are designed to be prepared in 30 minutes. Recipes include Asian-style hake fishcakes and aubergine curry.
It said the range was to be regularly refreshed and each one would indicate nutritional content via a traffic light labelling system.
“We are making recipe boxes more affordable so more of our customers can enjoy this simple way of eating fresh food,” said Matt Kelleher, online and digital director at Morrisons. “We have tested these on a range of amateur cooks and we know that these dishes can be cooked in 30 minutes flat.”
The boxes are to be delivered with insulated packaging to keep the contents fresh unrefrigerated for up to 24 hours. They can be ordered as a subscription or one-off purchase.
“There are already some people in the market for this sort of service but this is ground-breaking for Morrisons,” Potts told The Grocer. “People like scratch cooking and they like a bit of explanation.”
The new service comes as Potts celebrated three years at the helm by posting a first-half revenue increase of 4.5% to £8.8bn, after an 11th consecutive like-for-like sales surge in the second quarter. Morrisons also announced new wholesale deals to supply MPK Garages’ forecourt stores and Big C, Thailand’s third-largest retailer.
MPK operates about 30 forecourts, mainly in the Midlands, which will be converted to Morrisons Daily stores.
Morrisons said MPK’s new owner Stratford Retail Group had “expansion plans for many new forecourt sites, which will offer further opportunities for Morrisons Daily”.
The retailer currently operates over 40 Morrisons Daily stores with another forecourt operator, Rontec, and said more openings were planned for the second half of the year.
Big C, formerly Casino, will be supplied with about 100 Morrisons own label products.
The revenue jump in the six months to 5 August included a contribution of 0.3% from new space as it opened stores in Abergavenny and St Ives, Cambridgeshire.
A third new store, in Birmingham, opened this week.