In recent years, a number of companies have tried to profit by making it easier for people to cook complete meals by offering meal kits -- single packages that contain all the needed ingredients to complete their dishes. Walmart (WMT -0.87%) recently entered that space with a variation on that theme: shoppable recipes.
The retail titan has partnered with BuzzFeed's Tasty app to make it so customers can add the ingredients for 4,000 recipes from Tasty videos directly to their virtual grocery carts. With a single click, shoppers can add all the items needed for a recipe to their orders for curbside pickup or home delivery. (Not every Walmart offers those services.)
"Finding that perfect recipe, creating a grocery list and finally getting to the store can keep any chef out of the kitchen," said Walmart Chief Customer Officer Janey Whiteside in a press release. "We're excited to create a fun solution that feeds customers appetites to put time back in their busy schedules."
It's about convenience
Walmart has been reshaping its whole business around the idea of becoming more a convenient choice for customers. Curbside pickup and home delivery make shopping easier, and this partnership makes it simpler to cook more meals. The Tasty app also offers video instructions for the home chef.
"From watching a mesmerizing Tasty video to cooking it in your own kitchen, the missing link is buying the ingredients. More than two-thirds of our audience have made a Tasty recipe and 90% of American live within ten miles of a Walmart store, so we're excited to build upon our partnership with Walmart and provide a new feature that will solve the pain point of grocery shopping and make it even easier for our audience to cook their favorite Tasty recipes," said BuzzFeed Chief Marketing Officer Ben Kaufman.
The app directs consumers to walmart.com/grocery, where shoppers can make substitutions for personal preference or dietary needs. Walmart and BuzzFeed had already partnered on a Tasty kitchenware line featuring nonstick cookware, bakeware, kitchen gadgets, and accessories.
This makes sense
Most people want to cook more often -- it's usually healthier and less costly than eating out or ordering food in. But lack of time and energy can conspire against that impulse, and it's easy to grow bored with the dishes one knows how to prepare. Even if one wants to escape from one's culinary rut, preparing entirely new recipes can be daunting. The aim of this partnership is to take some of the work and confusion out of trying a new recipe. In some ways, it's better than a meal kit, given that an instructional cooking video may be more helpful than a basic recipe card.
Once again, Walmart is attempting to remove a pain point for consumers -- a key piece of its long-term strategy for maintaining its customer base and growing its market share in the grocery segment. It seems likely that other retailers will follow its lead.