Walmart is tossing its hat into the meal kit delivery game, but will it be enough to lure shoppers to its stores?
The big-box retailer announced this week that it will offer a selection of meal kits in around 250 stores, with a push to expand into 2,000 by the end of 2018. Priced between $8 and $15 for two portions, the meals include dishes like sweet chili chicken stir-fry and steak Dijon with potatoes and asparagus.
These new products are on Walmart.com, but prices aren't listed and are clearly marked "In-store purchase only." Ostensibly, though, the meal kits will eventually be available digitally and become part of the online grocery pickup program, as was reported in a press release.
This move could be seen as a bid to compete with Amazon since the online retailer launched meal kits last summer through Amazon Fresh and is also selling them at its cashierless Amazon Go stores. But it's a trend that the grocery industry as a whole is adopting since it's not a big leap from rotisserie chickens and other ready-to-eat items to packaging ingredients for specific recipes. Albertsons acquired meal kit company Plated outright last year, Kroger has developed an in-house brand of meal kits called Prep + Pared and Costco introduced "True Chef Meal Kits" in January 2018.
Grocers are gung-ho, though it's fair to say that so far online meal kits and prepared foods have appealed to a minority of US consumers: