Walmart jumps into meal-kit fray as Kroger expands its offerings
Walmart.com recently began selling nearly 30 meal-kits – some containing seafood – joining a long list of retailers that have recently entered the sector.
Walmart has been taking several steps to better compete with Amazon, which is developing its own meal-kit service.
Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods Market, and others are all looking to grab a piece of the increasingly lucrative meal-kit market, which reached an estimated USD 1.5 billion (EUR 1.3 billion) in sales over the past five years, according to Packaged Facts.
Starting last week, Walmart began selling kits that include a Thai Crab Curry meal-kit for USD 35 (EUR 30) and a Spanish Paella with Chorizo and Artichokes kit for four, which also retails for USD 35. The kits are fulfilled by Takeout Kit LLC, which specializes in meal-kits that have a shelf-life of two months.
Walmart is also offering a bundled meal service, such an “Everyday Supper” kit for USD 60 (EUR 51), which serves three meals for two people.
In related news, Kroger recently expanded its Prep+Pared meal kits to 200 additional stores, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The kits include limited seafood meals, such as Paprika Crusted Salmon with Sweet Potato & Apple Chutney. Prep+Pared come with all the ingredients necessary to prepare a meal for two in about 20 minutes, for around USD 14 (EUR 12) each.
“Kroger and Walmart are expected by Wall Street analysts to compete in the ‘grocerant niche’; thus, they were pressured to compete within this space,” said Steven Johnson, grocerant guru at consultancy Foodservice Solutions. “That is clearly why both Walmart and Kroger’s meal-kit offerings have no point of differentiation between their offerings and those of Plated or Hello Fresh.”
While Kroger and Walmart’s meal kits are “me too” offerings, Target and Dollar General have more effective meal-kit programs, according to Johnson.
Target’s is working with Chef’D to offer meal kits, which mix fresh ingredients with dry grocery goods to make a customized family meal.
“Dollar General has taken a similar approach. Rather than trying to stock a pantry, Dollar General would like their customers to come into the store daily, and they are targeting meal sales as meal-to-meal,” Johnson said. “I think this is very good positioning for today’s consumers and the continually shrinking middle class.”