USA – The retailers’ cooperative of supermarkets, ShopRite has expanded its range of store brands with the launch of private-brand meal kits, a new line of gourmet and specialty food, creating an internationally inspired food brand.

According to FoodDive, the new line by the ShopRite Trading Company includes ethnic-inspired private brand meal kits under the brand The Chef’s Menu.

ShopRite Trading Company provides imported and domestically sourced items with more than 270 ShopRite stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Shoprite said it will be rolling out new items on its portfolio on a monthly basis to add to its 40 products including frozen and dairy already placed on their shelves.

ShopRite debut into meal kits makes it the latest retailer to join the space dominated by Kroger, Publix, Albertsons, Weight Watchers and Meijer.

As a matter of convenience, lower price options become a vital issue among consumers, the meal kit space is on a rapid growth attracting online subscription-based companies like Blue Apron and HelloFresh who are taking the sector by storm.

The global information company, Nielsen reports that in-store meal kit sales grew 26.5% last year to US$155 million while Technomic says meal kit category will reach US$10 billion in revenue by 2020.

ShopRite Trading Company boasts of inspiration by international flavors to bring premium, artisanal food brands which is also sold online through the ShopRite from Home service.

It imports foods and flavors from Italy, Ecuador, Spain and Greece.

“Customers will find premium, imported products, including arugula wood-fired crust pizza and specialty desserts like cranberry panettone and pandoro from Italy, marinated artichoke hearts from Peru, and extra virgin olive oil from Greece,” said ShopRite spokeswoman Karen Meleta.

According to ShopRite, the new label joins ShopRite’s other own brands, including its Wholesome Pantry brand, an organic and clean ingredient product line launched in 2016.

Its products include smoked Atlantic salmon, Tandoori naan, extra virgin olive oil from California, whole-grain seeded flatbreads, Asian Szechuan sauce, marinated mixed olives imported from Greece, Novello extra virgin olive oil imported from Italy and red Thai-style chili sauce.