Responding to Amazon's launch of Whole Foods grocery delivery through Amazon Prime Now, the largest US reatiler Walmart has announced its plans to provide ready to eat meal kits priced between $8 nd $15 at, starting with 250 ourlets today.
The roll out will be expanded to over 2,000 stores this year. The meals will also be available via Walmart's Online Grocery Pickup where customers can place thir order online at lunch and pick it up as soon as dinner time.
According to Walmart, the meals were developed and tested in the retailer's Culinary and Innovation Center and are made fresh in the store daily and sold in the deli, with options include pre-portioned cooking kits, kits to accompany the grocers' best-selling rotisserie chicken, along with options that can be heated up and on the table in less than 15 minutes.
Pre-portioned Meal Kits include Steak Dijon, Basil Garlic Chicken, Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry and Pork Florentine
Expanding the range are Rotisserie Chicken Meals – Thai Curry Chicken and Chicken Fried Rice, as well as One Step Meals that incvlude Chicken Alfredo, Cheesy Ravioli Bake, Meatloaf, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, Pulled Beef, Chicken Marsala, Curry Chicken, Pot Roast and Chicken Enchiladas.
Forbes quoted Nielsen's latest report released on Monday, The Meal Kit Opportunity, while the majority of meal kits are purchased from online subscription services, in-store meal kit sales grew rapidly in the past year, up 26.5 to $154.6 million in sales, posting growth of more than 26% year-over-year.
Overall, the report states, 9 per cent of Americans say they've purchased a meal kit in the last six months and 25 per cent of consumers say they would consider trying a meal kit in the next six months.
''Customers are busier than ever and we know getting a delicious dinner on the table can be a chore. We're here to help,'' said Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager, Deli Services, Walmart U.S. ''These delicious meals give the best or worst of cooks a fresh, easy option for dinner tonight, or later this week.''
In addition to the Meal Kits being launched in stores, Walmart.com offers an expanded assortment of meal delivery kits and other specialty food items like farm fresh crates and snack boxes. The offering launched late last year.