Walmart Expands Meal Kits From 250 To 2000 Stores

Walmart Introducing Meal Kits in 2K-plus Stores

They will be available for purchase at 250 stores nationwide, with plans to roll out to more than 2,000 this year.

Walmart is launching meal kits and making a number of other investments in its grocery business as it looks to defend its position as the top grocer in the U.S. by sales, following Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods previous year.

The meal kits also take a shot at meal kit providers such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh, which do not have brick-and-mortar partners to help alleviate the cost and complex delivery process associated with the meal kit segment.

Walmart's convenience meal options serve two people and range in price from $8 to $15. It is offering three types of kits: pre-portioned meals that need to be cooked; ingredients that pair with its rotisserie chicken; or one-step dishes that just need to be heated up. The meals will also be available via Walmart's Online Grocery Pickupwhere customers can order online at lunch and pick up as soon as dinner time. Meal kit recipes include, steak dijon and sweet chili chicken. Thai curry chicken and chicken fried rice can be made with the rotisserie chicken.

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"We're going to learn from what it is that we have", Lehr said. Albertsons Cos., the owner of Safeway, Carrs and other supermarkets, bought online meal-kit service Plated past year to sell the kits at its 2,300 stores.

Several companies already offer meal kits, both online and in stores. The Walmart website has an expanded assortment of meal kits and other specialty items like snack boxes.

"This is mostly a "me too" move to keep up with other retailers", Livingston said in an email. "So these are products we're very comfortable with".

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