Big box retailer Walmart has announced that it will make its meal kits available to over 2,000 stores this year. The meal kits from Walmart will function the same way as those offered by the likes of Blue Apron and will include measured and pre-chopped ingredients required to make fancy meals. According to Walmart the meal kits will on average cost between $8 and $15 and will be meant for two diners. Analysts have said the introduction of the meal kits which were once viewed as upscale by Walmart as an indication that they have gone mainstream.
“It’s not a surprise for Walmart to do this; what’s interesting is Walmart’s now taking this to the mass level. Walmart doing this makes it very blue-collar and says, ‘No matter how much you make, you can have this convenience.’,” Phil Lempert, an analyst at supermarketguru.com, said.
Variety of selections
Some of the selections that Walmart will offer include Pork Florentine, Basil Garlic Chicken and Steak Dijon. According to the Walmart U.S. deli services senior vice president, Tyler Lehr, the reason for launching the meal kits was because of the busy lifestyles of customers.
Testing of the meal kits was conducted over a couple of weeks in around 250 stores located in Louisiana, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Texas. Per food industry consultancy Pentallect, the meal kits sector is worth approximately $2.5 billion and is growing annually at a rate of 20%. Last year in June meal kit firm Blue Apron got publicly listed and a month later Amazon introduced meal kits. In September last year Albertsons, a supermarket giant, acquired Plated, a meal kit business, for an amount that was not disclosed.
The launch of meal kits by Walmart comes in the wake of the big box retailer restricting the sale of rifle only to those aged 21 and above. The move followed a mass shooting at a high school in the state of Florida where 17 teenagers died. Following the ban a man in Oregon aged 20 has filed a lawsuit against the giant retailer accusing it of discriminating against him on the basis of age. Also jointly sued over a similar policy was Dick’s Sporting Goods.
According to the lawsuit the man was initially turned away from a retail outlet owned by Dick’s when he went there to purchase a gun. The man got the same treatment when he went to a Walmart store. Walmart has said it will stand by its policy and will defend it in court.