- Tyson Foods, Coca-Cola and Francis Ford Coppola Winery have signed on as initial brands in a branded partnership intended to increase their online grocery penetration with digital meal planning service eMeals.
- eMeals allows shoppers to build weekly meal plans based off shoppable recipes that can auto-populate a shopping cart. The cart can either be used for in-store shopping or delivered to the consumer’s doorstep by Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Instacart or Shipt.
- Tyson will be using the platform to highlight its Tyson Chicken, Hillshire Farm and Ball Park Franks brands in recipes. Coca-Cola and Francis Ford Coppola will pair with the platform to automatically suggest optimal beverage pairings.
To cater to consumer demand for convenience, eMeals develops its own recipes in-house that subscribers can access and then makes those recipes instantly shoppable, integrating branded products into weekly shopping lists. With this deal, Tyson, Coca-Cola and Francis Ford Coppola Winery are hoping users will add more of their products into shopping carts.
As e-commerce becomes a bigger part of shopping, CPG companies are employing a variety of strategies to gain a foothold in a segment that is expected to capture 20% of the grocery sales market and see more than $100 billion in transactions by 2025. Kellogg ended direct-store delivery for its snacks division in 2017 and shifted resources to direct-to-consumer marketing. McCormick further expanded its online presence after launching a storefront on Chinese Alibaba site Tmall.com, through which it sells products directly to the consumer.
Other manufacturers have been working to increase their e-commerce presence in different ways. Campbell Soup, Smithfield Foods and Coca-Cola previously partnered with meal kit company Chef’d to sell branded meals. It's been difficult for companies in the meal kit space to achieve profitability, and Chef'd shut down in 2018 after spending most of its cash and failing to secure additional funding, though it has since been acquired and relaunched in stores.
Services like eMeals are different from meal kits and offer a new way to populate consumers' shopping lists. Although eMeals customers are free to select their own ingredients or substitute other options for the branded products, basket auto-population — as well as offering suggested products for consumers to impulse buy — is a way to get high-profile brands in front of consumers, and could prove to be a lucrative alternative to traditional brand marketing strategies in brick-and-mortar retailers.