Retailers

Walmart Whips Up Interactive Video Series With Celebrity Chefs

Star power behind holiday-season play for online grocery sales
Photograph courtesy of Walmart

There's only so much grilled cheese you can make.

Eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, with temperatures dropping and creative cooking ideas flagging for many weary consumers, Walmart is looking to jump in with some celebrity mealtime inspiration—delivered via a new interactive video series.

Walmart Cookshop, announced Nov. 16, is a 17-episode series rolling out through the rest of 2020. Guest chefs and celebrity hosts include Jamie Oliver, Ree Drummond ("The Pioneer Woman"), Sofia Vergara and Patti LaBelle.

As the celebrity meal-prep aficionados share tips on everything from incorporating more vegetables into meals to dressing up Walmart premade dishes, home cooks have the option to tweak recipes to their tastes and then purchase featured items online for pickup or delivery.

In Q2 2020, Walmart’s e-commerce sales were up 97% year over year. Walmart is slated to host an earnings call to discuss Q3 results on Nov. 17. Groceries account for more than half of Walmart’s sales, and the company is the largest food retailer in the U.S.

Eko interactive video technology is powering the series, which launched with seven initial episodes.

In the grocery retailers space, competitors including Kroger and Albertsons are active on YouTube, offering video series on, for example, kids cooking (Kroger) and Meal Prep 101 (Albertsons). Target, also with an extensive YouTube library, has done single-episode celebrity-led cooking/entertaining videos featuring vegan chef Tabitha Brown offering cooking lessons to Laverne Cox and Ayesha Curry offering holiday entertaining tips.

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