Guess what Walmart is up to?
Walmart has added more than 150 new meal kits and other food boxes to its website that do not require a subscription.
The retailer has been sending out e-mails to its customers urging them to visit its website to shop not just for meal kits, but also for what it calls specialty food boxes and "farm crates."
The online delivery options run the gamut, from snack boxes, to farm crates of only organic vegetables, to coffee and tea boxes, healthy boxes, and international snacks. Prices range by box and the boxes resemble the kinds of products sold by Blue Apron or subscription boxes sold by smaller niche players.
Walmart started adding meal kits to its website in December, offering options such as chicken tikka masala and Thai crab curry with jasmine rice. The company appears to be working with several meal kit brands such as Takeout Kit and Home Chef. Prices vary widely and each meal kit is portioned for four people.
But what's new is that Walmart has added other food boxes that are not considered meal kits. Shoppers can buy a farm crate of organic produce from a supplier called Farmbox Direct, or a snack box from a company called MunchPak.
While each box order is a one-time purchase, the retailer could be looking for consumers to get hooked onto Walmart's seemingly cheaper boxes. Subscription box shoppers (more than 6 million in 2017) in the U.S. have been increasing in number each year, according to Hitwise.
Other retailers such as Amazon, Kroger, Publix, Albertsons and more have been rushing to offer meal kit options, but none have announced plans to sell specialty vegetable boxes or farm crates.