As big-box stores and grocers move into the meal kit space, Walmart has begun selling meal kits and “one-step meals” in more than 250 of its brick-and-mortar stores. The retailer plans to bring the meals to 2,000 of its locations in 2018, CNBC reported.
“These delicious meals give the best or worst of cooks a fresh, easy option for dinner tonight or later this week,” said Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of deli services for Walmart U.S.
The meal kits are designed to serve two people and sell for $8 to $15. Walmart customers can buy them in the store or through the retailer’s online grocery pickup service.
Unlike meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron and Hellofresh, Walmart does not require that its customers purchase subscriptions. Traditional meal kit providers tend to rely on subscriptions to support their business models, which often involve costly and complex delivery processes.
Walmart began selling meal kits on its website last year. According to TheStreet, some of the kits fell under the Takeout Kit and Home Chef brands. Each company fulfilled the orders and Walmart reportedly received a referral fee and small commission.
The Sunnyvale, California-based Takeout Kit was the first meal kit company featured on Walmart.com, launching on Dec. 3, 2017, and Home Chef kits were made available the next day.
There were nearly 30 meal kits on the site that month, including Takeout Kit’s global cuisine offerings with two-month shelf lives, including options such as Chicken Tikka Masala with Rice for four and German Beer Garden Spatzle. Both were priced at $35.
According to previous reports, the meal kit market is worth more than $2 billion, meaning it makes sense that big players want to get in on the act. Albertsons recently acquired meal kit company Plated for $200 million, and Amazon has been eyeing the market since its Whole Foods Market acquisition.