Walmart debuts prepared meals and meal kits
Walmart is playing catch up. The retailer announced yesterday that it was following a long line of other grocers in offering a line of prepared meals to customers while joining a smaller group developing its own meal kits.
The new offerings are currently available in more than 250 stores with plans to roll them out to more than 2,000 Walmart locations by the end of the year. The prepared foods line (One Step Meals) as well as the pre-portioned meal kits will be available for purchase in stores and also through Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup service.
“Customers are busier than ever and we know getting a delicious dinner on the table can be a chore. We’re here to help,” said Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager, Deli Services, Walmart U.S., in a statement. “These delicious meals give the best or worst of cooks a fresh, easy option for dinner tonight, or later this week.”
Walmart developed the new items in its Culinary and Innovation Center.
The One Step Meals line at present offers 10 items, including chicken enchiladas and pot roast. Customers will have a choice of four meal kits: Steak Dijon, Basil Garlic Chicken, Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry and Pork Florentine. The individual kits serve two people and range in price from $8 to $15.
The retailer’s creation of its own meal kits follows the launch of third-party offerings from Home Chef and Takeout Kit on Walmart.com last year. At the time, 59 percent of those surveyed in a RetailWire poll expected Walmart to develop its own meal kits.
A Pentallect report issued last year put the size of the meal kit market at $2.2 billion, with annual sales projected to grow between 25 percent and 30 percent over the next five years.
While only a small percentage of American households have tried meal kit offerings, the market’s potential has led a variety of companies to create their own or buy stakes in others. Amazon.com, Campbell Soup, Kroger, Nestlé USA, Publix and Unilever are just some of the large retailers and consumer packaged goods companies looking to profit from meal kits.
- What’s for Dinner? Walmart Cooks up a Hassle-Free Solution with Quality, Fresh Meals – Walmart
- Will meal kits be a hit on Walmart’s virtual shelves? – RetailWire
- Does Blue Apron’s ‘meh’ IPO spell trouble for meal kit services? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the keys to retailer success in prepared meals and meal kits? Do you like the approach Walmart is taking?