After beginning to offer meal kits from third party brands last fall, Walmart announced today that it’s now producing its own brand of pre-portioned kits priced between $8 to $15 designed to serve two people. The company says the recipes were developed at Walmart’s Culinary and Innovation Center which opened in June 2016, and all kits are made and packaged in individual stores daily.
Unlike Walmart’s first meal kit offerings, its own line of kits will be available for purchase at 250 stores nationwide, with plans to roll out to more than 2,000 stores this year. Its meal kit recipes cover a range of cuisines, such as steak dijon, sweet chili chicken stir fry, and pork Florentine. In addition to the kits, Walmart will also offer ready-to-heat meals that skew heavily meat-based (sorry, vegetarians.)
The new offering comes as Amazon began selling its own pre-portioned meal kits via AmazonFresh, and after the internet retailer bought Whole Foods to bolster its produce sales and delivery services. Both companies make the promise that, unlike Blue Apron — which made meal kits mainstream — the kits they offer do not require a subscription. After news of Walmart’s announcement this morning, Blue Apron shares dropped to its lowest point since going public last summer, with a four percent dip that brings the year-to-date loss to 34.9 percent, reports Financial Times.
Earlier in February, analysts speculated that there were “good reasons” for Walmart to partner or acquire Blue Apron, contributing to the small spike in Blue Apron’s share value last month.