September 25, 2023
Kroger’s healthcare arm, Kroger Health, has partnered with Performance Kitchen to expand access to medically tailored meals (MTMs) for people living with various chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer, reports Grocery Dive.
The MTMs are created to meet each individual’s specific needs with the goal of improving his or her overall health and wellness, per the announcement.
Kroger Health said this partnership marks the first time it is offering “evidence-based, registered dietitian-approved meals that will offer nutrition intervention” for people with chronic health conditions.
Kroger Health’s latest announcement furthers the grocery company’s food-as-medicine work toward supporting preventative care through food and making healthcare more accessible.
Kroger cited a recent study by the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University that found MTMs could help prevent 1.6 million hospitalizations and save insurers $13.6 billion in one year after paying for the cost of food. The grocery company noted in an email that MTMs usually result in a three-to-one cost reduction on meals.
Indeed, Kroger claims that, over ten years, the healthcare cost savings from MTM program participants who receive ten meals per week for eight months could reach an estimated $185.1 billion, on top of the cost of the MTMs.
The MTM options include chicken Dijon with kale, Moroccan-style chicken with quinoa, vegetable chickpea curry, and salmon pasta, per the announcement.
As part of the partnership, Kroger Health and Performance Kitchen are focused on serving diverse populations and including culturally relevant foods. Kroger Health Director of Nutrition Taylor Newman, PhD, RDN, says that the meals available include a variety of culturally diverse recipes and flavors “to make sure everyone’s needs are met.”
“Offering MTMs allows us an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to supporting individuals on their wellness journeys, while providing a personalized approach to help them transform their health,” Kroger Health Chief Commercial Officer James Kirby says.
Founded in 2013 and based in Seattle, Performance Kitchen has a team of chefs, doctors and registered dietitians for its meal delivery business. Since 2021, the company has been delivering its ready-to-eat meals to qualifying health plan members, according to its website. Along with ordering directly from the company’s website, consumers can also buy Performance Kitchen’s cases of meals and meal plans online at Walmart.
Kroger Health noted it can pair MTMs with its other health services—such as virtual appointments with registered dietitians and access to healthy groceries “for a holistic approach.”
Kroger funded a clinical research study in 2022 conducted by the University of Cincinnati that assessed the impact of dietary intervention on the health of primary care patients shopping at the grocer. That same year, Kroger participated in the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, during which the company pledged new research and funding focused on nutrition.
Research contact: @GroceryDive