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12/15/2017

Walmart selling third-party meal kits online

Big box retailer is offering a variety of options through its e-commerce site
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Walmart has begun selling third-party meal kits online, multiple sources have reported, with its website showing offerings from two services – Takeout Kit and Home Chef –  that offer a variety of options including diet-conscious and ethnic-inspired meals.

A search on the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer’s website turned up 11 Home Chef kits – including ones under the Family Favorites, Farmhouse Favorites, Everyday Supper, Comfort Classics and Chef’s Choice lines, as well as options for carb-conscious, calorie-conscious and gluten-sensitive consumers – for delivery. It also found nine Takeout Kit options, including such ethnic dishes as Sichuan Mapo Tofu & Jasmine Rice, Indian Chicken Tikka Masala & Basmati Rice and Spanish Paella with Chorizo & Artichokes. While Home Chef kits don't retail on Amazon’s site, the Takeout Kit options do and typically for $3 or $4 more than the examples found.

While a number of Walmart’s competitors have entered the meal-kit space with offerings and programs of their own – including Metro in Canada with its acquisition of MissFresh – doing so can be costly. Walmart is likely using this lower-cost model to see whether meal kits resonate well with its audience, Terra’s Kitchen CEO Michael McDevitt told TheStreet.com in September.

Meal kits have reached an estimated US $1.5 billion over the past five years, Rockville, Md.-based research firm Packaged Facts has reported, with continued growth expected in the years to come.

A version of this article originally appeared at ProgressiveGrocer.com.