Walmart says ten different meals are now available in 250 stores, but will expand to 2,000 stores by the end of the year. These meal kit programs often require subscriptions, since frequent purchases are needed to manage their business model.
The push comes as traditional grocers and big-box retailers are moving more aggressively into the meal kit industry, in hopes of reaching customers at touchpoints even beyond their store walls. "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 ingredients of the dishes include chicken fried rice, meatloaf, meatballs, and spaghetti.
Although several other retailers have tried the meal kit option, a lot of them haven't succeeded in this business venture.
Now offered in 250-plus stores, the meals were developed and tested in the company's Culinary and Innovation Center, and are made and assembled fresh in-store daily.
The meals are offered between $8 and $15 and can be served within 15 minutes. Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Plated have tried to out duel one another, but now they have to contend with the country's two largest retailers entering their space.