Retail

Weight Watchers Joins The Meal Kit Frenzy

Weight Watchers

As part of the company’s expansion, Weight Watchers plans to roll out healthy meal kits in grocery stores. The launch comes as the company is experiencing a resurgence in memberships, Bloomberg reported.

“Our goal is to be a partner to everyone on their pursuit toward healthier living,” Weight Watchers Chief Executive Officer Mindy Grossman said in a statement.

Weight Watchers announced the meal kits on Thursday (March 8) and plans to sell them under the “WW Healthy Kitchen” brand name. The company will debut the kits next week during the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago.

Beyond the meal kits, Weight Watchers intends to begin selling kitchen tools from prep to cookware to storage. It also plans to collaborate with California-based celebrity chef Eric Greenspan to create recipes that are compatible with the company’s freestyle program.

The launch of Weight Watchers’ meal kits could spell trouble for Blue Apron, which is already facing competition from retailers that are offering similar products. Walmart, for example, 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,” Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of deli services for Walmart U.S., said.

Walmart’s meal kits are designed to serve two people and are priced from $8 to $15. 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 doesn’t require its customers to 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.

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