"This store and another store here in Nixa is one of the three stores that are testing the new cases up front, and putting it right in front of the customers so they can see it as soon as they come in", said Derrick Brentlinger, the Walmart store manager.
Walmart's push aligns with the efforts by traditional grocers, big box retailers and Amazon to move more aggressively into the meal-kit industry.
Compared to other vendors in the market, Walmart offers no subscription, which is a positive effect in itself. Options include steak dijon, basil garlic chicken, sweet chili chicken stir-fry and pork Florentine, Walmart suggests. Amazon started selling ready-to-cook meals in July. The retail giant also is re-outfitting a dozen Sam's Club stores into distribution centers for Walmart's online grocery business.
The meal kits feed two people and range in price from $8 to $15. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, consumers now spend more than $800 billion each year on restaurants and meals outside the home compared to $793 billion on meals consumed at home.
While other retailers have built up their fresh meal offerings in recent years, Walmart has been seemingly content to sit on the sidelines. These are exactly the same kits you tend to get through services like Blue Apron, which tend to involve more preparation and more original foods.
It is yet to be seen if Walmart Inc. can pull off the results it has been aiming after with this latest launch.