Walmart has officially joined the meal kit scene, offering options like chicken tikka masala and Thai crab curry with jasmine rice on its website. The company appears to be working with several brands, such as Takeout Kit and Home Chef, to offer diverse cuisines like Sichuan-style Mapo tofu, Moroccan shakshuka, Spanish paella, and other low calorie or gluten free options. Home Chef’s Walmart offerings alternate every Tuesday afternoon, similar to how meal kit subscription service Blue Apron’s menu changes every week. Prices range from $32 for Mapo tofu to $79.60 for two meal kits in one. Each meal kit is portioned for four people.
Both Takeout Kit and Home Chef are responsible for fulfilling the orders and shipping them to customers’ doorsteps, while Walmart earns commission and a referral fee, people familiar with the matter told TheStreet. Some meal kits have reportedly already sold out, as originally over 30 meal kits were offered on Walmart.com beginning early this week. While each meal kit order from Walmart is a one-time purchase, both brands also offer subscription services on their own sites, so Walmart could be a gateway for consumers to get hooked onto these Blue Apron competitors.
Since its founding in 2012, Blue Apron became the brand best associated with pre-portioned dinner kits, though it has since struggled in light of Amazon’s launch of its own meal kits over the summer. Before Amazon, it also felt pressure from startup competitors like Hello Fresh, Plated, and more. Pricing continued to be more competitive over the years, with Blue Apron’s kits selling for $20 for a two-person meal, while Amazon’s equivalent is as low as $16.
All of this adds onto Blue Apron’s rough year. Its IPO is currently the worst-performing in the US this year, trading nearly 70 percent below its value last month.