Whole Foods is getting into the meal-kit industry to compete with startups like Blue Apron.
“There’s a lot of people in the Willy Wonka laboratory working on this thing,” Whole Foods Chief Information Officer Jason J. Buechel said Wednesday on a call with analysts.
“Huge interest in this,” added Walter Robb, the company’s co-CEO.
The meal kit industry is booming.
About 100 companies now offer meal kits — or packages that contain groceries and accompanying recipes.
One of the leading companies in the industry, Blue Apron, is growing rapidly.
It now delivers about 8 million meals a month, up from about one million meals a month at the start of 2015, the company told Business Insider. Blue Apron was valued at about $2 billion in its last round of funding in June 2015.
Blue Apron isn’t alone — there’s also Plated, Hello Fresh, and local companies like PeachDish in Atlanta offering meal kits.
The meal kit market in the US could grow by as much as $5 billion over the next decade, according to the New York Times .
Whole Foods executives didn’t provide many details on their plans to enter the meal-kit business.
“We’re not going to announce anything today,” Whole Foods Executive Vice President of Operations Ken Meyer said. “
But, we will say that we are committed to this category. We think we have a good strategy for it. It will be revealed.”
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