Campbell Soup Invests in Online Meal Service, Chef’d

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

May 25, 2017

Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., announced on May 24 a strategic partnership and investment of $10 million in Chef’d, an e-commerce meal marketplace that Campbell says will help grow its e-commerce capabilities. Campbell’s investment is part of the Series B round of funding for Chef’d. With the investment, Campbell will become Chef’d’s largest strategic investor and receive a seat on the company’s board of directors.

Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., Chef'd partners with celebrated chefs, media outlets and culinary influencers to offer thousands of meal solutions that facilitate cooking high-quality meals at home. Launched in late April 2015, Chef’d was created to help consumers rethink the home-cooked meal by offering fresh, pre-portioned ingredients that aim to eliminate food waste and, in turn, cut consumer grocery costs, all without the hassle of subscription or membership fees. This allows consumers to personalize their orders and reorder their favorites whenever they want.

Under the terms of the partnership, Chef’d will help with infrastructure and distribution of meal solutions through the Campbell’s Kitchen site. Additionally, Campbell will benefit from Chef’d’s insights on e-commerce business models, access to data analytics and insights on shopper behaviors. The two companies will also test various capabilities over the three-year agreement around product innovation and fulfillment.

“E-commerce will transform the food industry in similar ways to how it transformed entertainment and apparel. It is a game changer for consumers, food makers and retailers alike,” said Denise Morrison, president and CEO at Campbell Soup Co. “The movement is irrevocable and irreversible. In the future, shopping for and preparing meals will be flexible, fully automated and even anticipatory. Chef’d will help Campbell connect with our consumers where they are today and, more importantly, where they’re headed.”

Chef’d partners with notable chefs, culinary personalities and more than 125 brands in food, fitness, and health and wellness to offer over 1,000 meal solutions spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.

“We are actively looking to add strategic partners and Campbell’s outlook on the future of food and e-commerce aligns perfectly with the Chef’d vision of the future of online grocery,” noted Kyle Ransford, CEO at Chef’d. “Both Campbell and Chef’d believe in continuing to drive innovation in the new food economy, particularly around consumer customization and e-commerce solutions.”

Between 2016 and 2021, Campbell projects e-commerce sales of food and beverages to reach $66 billion, a compound annual growth rate of 38 percent.

"We are fully committed to growing our e-commerce business with an emphasis on bold moves and rapid pace,” said Mark Alexander, President, Americas Simple Meals and Beverages at Campbell. “We are firm believers in building relationships with partners that share our vision while enabling us to rapidly learn, evolve and test new capabilities.”

The investment announcement follows a series of moves Campbell has made to develop an ecosystem of innovative partners focused on defining the future of food. In February 2016, the company committed $125 million to Acre Venture Partners and continues to support innovative start-ups such as Habit and the Soulfull Project. 

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