- Thanks to a new partnership with home cooking platform SideChef, Walmart shoppers will be able to order entire lists of ingredients on over 10,000 recipes.
- A total of 3,300 Walmart stores in the United States will participate in this new service.
- Walmart’s senior director of content and influencer marketing Sarah Henry said in a statement that the company wants to give “time back” to aspiring home cooks.
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For an aspiring home cook, the prospect of wandering through grocery aisles picking up ingredients can be daunting. And during a deadly global pandemic, spending an inordinate amount of time in stores is less appealing to consumers than ever.
Now Walmart is teaming up with digital home cooking platform app SideChef to help shoppers tackle new recipes and the sometimes overwhelming “headspace of the food intent journey,” according to Walmart executive Sarah Henry.
Walmart’sscustomers will be able to pick a SideChef creation on the company’s site and automatically add all the ingredients from the recipe into their online shopping cart. After that, they can select a fulfillment option on the SideChef app: delivery or contactless curbside pickup.
Henry, senior director of marketing for content and influencers, spoke to Business Insider about the chain’s new partnership. She said her role is largely about positioning Walmart as a “trusted partner” that allows shoppers to “translate inspiration into easy buying solutions” by partnering with brands like SideChef. According to Crunchbase, the SideChef app has been downloaded 900,000 times.
“It’s really in service of making it super easy and convenient and putting time — and sanity — back in people’s pockets by making sort of the food intent journey that much seamless,” Henry said.
Henry said that many consumers are finding themselves struggling to “juggle” all the realities of daily life during the pandemic, with so many shoppers stuck working and caring for their children at home. Meanwhile, the prospect of shopping for meals as a green new home cook can be intimidating at the best of times.
“When we think about our partnership with SideChef, we think about how do we take all the front end of the process that’s happening with meal planning, recipe discovery, getting it on a shopping list, making sure that it’s what you need for the week and then adding a seamless commerce solution,” she said.
Henry characterized SideChef as “powering the consumer engagement front end of the process for meal planning to shopping list,” with Walmart taking on the “the commerce solution” aspect of the issue to deliver a “super seamless” experience.
The new service will be available at over 3,300 Walmart locations in the United States. And the delivery option applies to all US-based shoppers.
In a statement sent exclusively to Business Insider, a Walmart spokesperson said that the new “shoppable recipe” service will bring about “added convenience and easy buying solutions along the home-cooking journey, in service to giving customers time back in their busy lives.”
SideChef is an online platform with a store of 18,000 interactive recipes, offering consumers “hands-free voice commands, step-by-step photos, how-to videos, and built-in timers.”
The new partnership is just the latest instance of Walmart’s omnichannel efforts.
The company has long championed fulfillment options like curbside pickup and same-day delivery, even in pre-pandemic times. In May, Walmart opted to merge its grocery app into its general merchandise app, to streamline the e-commerce shopping experience. The retailer also announced its intent to redesign 200 stores around the country to ensure that its brick-and-mortar presence dovetails with its mobile app. Now, customers can go even further by shopping for “clickable recipes” online.
The team-up with SideChef will allow Walmart shoppers to instantaneously “add entire lists of ingredients from a selection of over 10,000 recipes available on SideChef.” Those 10,000 recipes from SideChef range from traditional classics like Thanksgiving pumpkin pie to new concoctions from the minds of “Michelin star chefs” and the winners of Top Chef and MasterChef Jr., according to a statement from Walmart.
“With all the excitement and joy that the holidays bring with them, the stress of planning and finding the right recipes, ingredients is real,” Henry said in a statement sent to Business Insider. “We’re happy to be able to offer our customers a fun and delightful solution that will give them time back so they can spend it on the things that matter the most.”
Henry said that Walmart was specifically interested in SideChef due to the two brands’ “shared philosophy around making customers’ lives easier.” She highlighted the customizable nature of SideChef’s meal planning features, regarding factors like dietary requirements or serving size.
SideChef orders will be tailored to both the customer, and their specific Walmart location. The new platform will automatically check product availability, and consumers can opt to switch ingredients and toggle serving sizes, “to avoid any unwanted surprises at checkout,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement. The statement also noted that consumers will receive a “percentage used” assessment for each ingredient, which will adjust “accordingly depending on selected serving sizes.”
The Walmart-SideChef partnership will also continue to update as time goes on, adding more brands to the mix. Henry said that, in the early weeks of the partnership, Walmart will be looking at better “understanding how people are interacting with the overall customer journey” with SideChef.
“In these uncertain times, what is certain is that home cooking has become an essential part of everyday life, and we are fully dedicated to persistently innovating with world-class partners like Walmart to make that cooking journey as seamless and easy as possible,” Kevin Yu, CEO and Founder of SideChef, said in a statement sent to Business Insider. “One-click shoppable recipes are particularly exciting because it is the core part of a series of innovations that we plan to introduce that will make eating in as easy as eating out.”