Publix Super Markets Inc., has quietly deep-sixed its experiment in the easy prep meal assembly business.
The Lakeland chain has closed two Apron's Make-Ahead Meals stores in Jacksonville and Fishhawk Crossings Shopping Center in Lithia.
The Lithia store had been open about nine months when the lights went out. All the displaced workers were transferred to other Publix jobs.
Publix joins dozens of easy-prep stores — which lay out the pre-measured makings for home-cooked meals for customers who assemble and freeze them — that have had trouble turning the nascent industry from a fad into a long-turn business trend.
"The business didn't meet our expectations," said Shannon Patton, Publix spokeswoman. "Despite many loyal customers and dedicated associates, Make-Ahead Meals didn't have enough volume to continue."