New Walmart meal kits are already available in the deli section of more than 250 stores and are set to roll out to more than 2,000 stores this year. The company said it was also selling rotisserie chicken meals in flavors like Thai curry chicken or chicken fried rice. "We're here to help", said Tyler Lehr, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of Deli Services for Walmart U.S. Meal kit options range in price from $8 to $15 and serve two people. Albertsons acquired meal kit service Plated in September 2017 and is introducing the product into Albertsons stores; and Kroger is testing and producing new meal kit recipes through its recently launched Culinary Innovation Center.
The selections are available in about 50 Walmart locations in Arkansas, according to a company spokesman. There might be some items today that we decide we want to tweak and make adjustments to.
Pre-portioned meal kits include prepped ingredients that consumers can cook at home.
"It's a market that is consistent with growing food consumer preferences for fresh and healthy foods that require minimal preparation", Shea said in an email.
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The latest move from Walmart supposedly owes its ideas to Hellofresh and Blue Apron, who have no brick and mortar stores, and yet have managed to tap into the meal kit market.
Given the massive scope of Walmart's grocery business, the meals could depress sales at restaurant chains if shoppers may choose to grab a quick and cheap dinner from Walmart. Livingston doubts Walmart's meal-kit offerings will have a significant impact, questioning whether the retailer can "pull this off properly".
"It's no big secret that they are offered in other retailers, and we have looked at them previously, but we were not thrilled with quality levels", he said.