Wal-Mart Buys Yumprint to Outpace Amazon in Online Grocery Games

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) has been trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to bolster its online grocery delivery service for a while, but now it has enlisted the recipe-focused startup company, Yumprint, to help its cause. According to CNET, Wal-Mart announced Wednesday that it acquired Yumprint for an undisclosed sum, and the retailer plans to work with the startup’s co-founders Chris Crittenden and Wes Dyer to help strengthen its online service Walmart To Go. The partnership is a new one for Wal-Mart because while the retail giant has expertise in a lot of things, it isn’t exactly known for its foodie prowess. Yumprint, on the other hand, specializes in publishing unique recipes, and it powers a public network of recipes for food blogs, as reported by CNET. 

Yumprint has both a mobile app and website, and it is on these platforms that the company displays recipes of over 2,000 food blogs. Yumprint says that it displays more than 15 million recipes per month, and also offers a recipe clipper browser extension, which allows users to organize their bookmarked recipes. Yumprint is also behind several meal-planning products.

So, how does this tie in to Wal-Mart’s business? That much is still up for debate. What is clear is that Wal-Mart has its service, Walmart To Go, on its mind, and the company’s executives believe the new startup can help its online delivery service that delivers groceries right to a customer’s door, also offering fresh produce. When asked how Wal-Mart and Yumprint will work together in this new venture, Ben Galbraith, Walmart.com’s vice president of global products, wrote in a blog post via CNET, “Chris and Wes’s ideas and ambitions for transforming the grocery shopping experience match the global opportunity Walmart enjoys in this space, and their accomplishments with Yumprint just scratch the service of what we’re going to do next together.”

Wal-Mart and e-commerce competitor Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) have long been sparring off over which company can have the best online grocery delivery service, but both retailers have a far way to go. CNET explains that a number of struggles have kept Wal-Mart and Amazon from realizing as much initial success as they hoped, and they include finding a way to deliver fresh produce from warehouses to customers’ doors without suffering significant expenses, and also building infrastructure that ensure their services are sound. It’s a costly venture, but it’s one that both Wal-mart and Amazon seem adamant about championing. Amazon’s Fresh Direct service has arguably seen a little more progress than Walmart To Go, not surprising considering it did launch earlier; however, the brick-and-mortar retailer’s latest partnership could help it narrow some of that space.

Still, it’s too early for speculation as onlookers aren’t yet aware what Wal-Mart and Yumprint are planning to brew up together, but that hasn’t kept the rumors from flying. The popularity of food blogs and online recipe clipping has grown significantly as of late, and Yumprint may have some tricks up its sleeve to ensure that customers sign on to support WalMart To Go’s service.

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