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Two Kroger stores in the Columbus, Ohio, market are adding menu items from Saladworks to the new Kitchen United Mix Food Hall locations situated in those stores … "Kitchen United's Mix Food Hall provides customers with a seamless takeout experience, offering a variety of restaurant brands and menu options including Saladworks," the announcement says.  Delivery also will be available.

It goes on:  "Customers will be able to place their order at on-site kiosks at Kroger locations or online at Customers can also order through third-party delivery apps but ordering from multiple restaurant menus featured at Mix Food Hall is exclusively available through the Mix Food Hall ordering platform."

KC's View:

I'm sure that this is a good idea, but I always struggle with the idea that a retailer that has invested time and effort in creating viable and attractive produce departments now will add a component to their stores that offers fresh produce from a company that is a competitor for share of stomach.

The food halls are designed to be a point of differentiation, as well as a way to cater tio evolving consumer needs.  So maybe it doesn't really matter if Kroger lays out the welcome mat for the competition.  But it strikes me as a concession, not just a competitive statement - does it enhance the Kroger brand, or diminish it?