In the battle over the future of food purchases, Walmart is making moves to maintain a fighting chance against Amazon and Whole Foods.
On Monday, meal kit company Gobble announced a partnership with the retail giant to sell its products through Walmart’s e-commerce site, Gobble founder Ooshma Garg told Fortune in an exclusive.
The business relationship between the San Francisco-based startup and the largest retailer in the world comes after Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods in June 2018 sent Walmart and Kroger scrambling to improve their digital offerings. (Kroger announced the addition of meal-kits in June after it acquired Home Chef.)
Ordering food online is “the last frontier of e-commerce,” Fortune‘s Beth Kowitt wrote in her analysis of the Amazon-Whole Foods deal: About 20% of retail spending goes toward food, but only 2% of those sales currently take place on the Internet, she says.
The battle over online food spending has seen traditional retailers turn to the subscriber model of companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. Overall, U.S. meal-kit sales grew 40.7% last year, according to Earnest Research.
For Gobble’s founder, the business is more than just making sure raw ingredients are prepared, measured, packaged, and arrive to customers safely.
“To me, food is family,” says Garg, the daughter of a nutritionist who realized the need for quick and healthy dinner options. She talks about meals in these terms, calling Gobble’s product “a cooking equalizer.”