Decisions to expand the meal-kit business and to offer prepared meals in its stores can help Walmart ward off competition.
Walmart's push aligns with the efforts by traditional grocers, big box retailers and Amazon to move more aggressively into the meal-kit industry. The pre-portioned line includes Steak Dijon, Basil Garlic Chicken, Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry and Pork Florentine.
Walmart is trying to tap into a business that has gained popularity in recent years as consumers look for convenient options to cook at home.
Finally, one step meals are a heat-and-eat option with several main courses, including Chicken Alfredo, Cheesy Ravioli Bake, Meatloaf, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Parmesan, Pulled Beef, Chicken Marsala, Curry Chicken, Pot Roast and Chicken Enchiladas. The company said it was also selling rotisserie chicken meals in flavors like Thai curry chicken or chicken fried rice.
The new meal options serve two people and range between $8 and $15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up almost 17% for the past year. Unlike Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, Walmart's kits do not require a subscription.
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Walmart's grocery business faced stepped-up competition when Amazon acquired Whole Foods previous year for almost $14 billion.
The company says their kits are callable right now in 250 stores.
Walmart's first exposure was in offering meal kits from third-party companies - California-based Takeout Kit and Chicago-based Home Chef - on its website beginning late a year ago. Scrambling to find a meal "puts pressure on a family", he said.
"It's no secret that other retails have been out with those offerings, but getting the price-value equation right, the quality right on these items has been something we weren't going to make a step unless we were comfortable", Lehr said.