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Campbell Soup Company today announced a strategic partnership and investment of $10 million in Chef’d, a best-in-class e-commerce meal marketplace, which will help grow Campbell’s e-commerce capabilities. Campbell’s investment is part of the Series B round of funding for Chef’d.
“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 Chief Executive Officer at Campbell Soup Company.
With the investment, Campbell will become Chef’d’s largest strategic investor and will receive a seat on the company’s board of directors. 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 fulfilment.
“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 offers people the opportunity to choose and reorder from hundreds of meals at any given time, without the hassle and cost of subscriptions or membership fees. Chef’d partners with notable chefs, culinary personalities and over 125 trusted 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,” said 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.”
This 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, Campbell committed $125 million to Acre Venture Partners and continues to support innovative start-ups such as Habit and the Soulfull Project.
Other investors in Chef’d’s Series B round include Fresh Direct, which is making a follow-on investment to their Series A investment. DA Davidson & Co. acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Chef’d and will continue to represent the company in raising the balance of the Series B round.