retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Street reports on how Walmart has “started selling meal kit offerings on its website, including some under the Takeout Kit and Home Chef brands, and some selections are already sold out.”

The story notes that “each meal kit company is … responsible for fulfilling each order,” with Walmart getting a “referral fee and a small commission.”

Meanwhile, the Columbus Dispatch reports that Kroger - after having tested meal kits earlier this year in Cincinnati - now will roll out its meal kit offering - a proprietary option dubbed Prep+Pared - in 200 of its stores.

Estimates are that meal kits, a $1.5 billion business just last year, could hit $4.6 billion this year, and within five years could exceed $11 billion.

The Dispatch writes that “as the baby boomers have aged, they are eating out less, according to NPD. They also cook less, turning more to prepared foods and easy-to-make meals. Millennials, who now outnumber baby boomers, also are shaping the food landscape through their demand for delivery services, kits and experiences instead of just meals.”
KC's View:
Different companies, and so they’re going to have different approaches to the meal kit segment. But, I tend to prefer Kroger’s because it is differentiated and proprietary … which I think matters.

As for the segment in general … the growth ought to serve as an object lesson for retailers. After all, food retailers had all the ingredients - literally - to invest this category, but left it to outside disruptors to do so. Can’t let that happen anymore.