In an effort to make shoppers’ lives a little easier, Walmart has jumped into the meal kit market. This big move comes after speculation that Walmart may purchase Blue Apron, the subscription meal kit company. Instead, it appears that Walmart has decided to enter the business with its own offerings. In today’s overscheduled world, this could answer the needs of those who want an easy-to-make meal but just don’t have the time to cook.
Why meal kits?
“Customers are busier than ever and we know getting a delicious dinner on the table can be a chore,” Tyler Lehr, Walmart’s senior vice president for deli services, said in a statement announcing the program. “These delicious meals give the best or worst of cooks a fresh, easy option for dinner tonight, or later this week.”
This appears to be a smart move for Walmart, because a recent Nielsen report, The Meal Kit Opportunity, found that while most meal kits are purchased from online subscription services, in-store versions are now selling fast. In fact, in the past year, their growth has been over 26%, which is about $155 million in sales.
Walmart’s meal kits
You can choose from pre-portioned meal kits that include choices like Steak Dijon, Pork Florentine and Chicken Fried Rice. Or for those who are new to cooking, one-step meals offer up traditional options like Chicken Marsala and Meatloaf, which can be on the table in 15 minutes. In total, customers get well over a dozen options. And talk about fresh: The meal kits are put together daily by deli employees. The convenience meal options range in price from just $8 to $15, and serve two. (Want to make your own dinner for two? These recipes will do the trick.)
The meal kits, which are currently available in over 250 stores, will branch out to more than 2,000 stores by the end of the year. They will also be available through Walmart’s online grocery pickup. The company aims to make it possible for customers to order a kit around lunchtime and pick it up at the deli before dinner.
All this meal-kit talk brings us to ask: Are grocery stores going extinct?