- Walmart announced a cooking competition in partnership with So Yummy, a recipe brand owned by First Media that specializes in short how-to videos, according to a press release. The show will run for 10 episodes on So Yummy TV, its cable and over-the-top (OTT) network that reaches 40 million homes, as well as the food brand's social channels.
- The "Unbox'd" series started on May 17 and features food influencers using ingredients from a mystery box to craft themed dishes. Judges will select the winning recipe, which will be made fully shoppable to viewers via links to Walmart's online grocery store.
- Through "Unbox'd," Walmart is hoping to consolidate its shopping experience into a fully digital pathway from content consumption to purchase — a move that signals the retailer further investing in its e-commerce capabilities.
Walmart's tie-up with So Yummy is an effort to more closely unite content and commerce, streamlining the purchasing process for consumers. By showing food influencers cook meals with ingredients available at Walmart alongside links to those recipes and ingredients, the retail giant can shorten the marketing funnel and eliminate steps that could cause friction and lose shoppers. To entice budget-conscious viewers, Walmart is offering a savings tool that ensures quantities of items match those needed for specific recipes, as well as a system that will recommend recipes requiring the same ingredients.
Also conducive to retaining consumers is the tactic underpinning the show's content, which seeks to combine the fan-favorite element of competition-style TV with the growing popularity of unboxing videos. Walmart has jumped on cultural trends in the past, activating a beauty-focused livestream on TikTok in March.
"Unbox'd" arrives at a promising time for Walmart's e-commerce business. After experiencing 79% annual growth in online sales over 2020, the retail giant rebranded its media network and continued to expand its partners program. The retailer this week announced a 37% growth in e-commerce for Q1 2021 that speaks to its sustained efforts.
The partnership with So Yummy also sees Walmart targeting younger audiences with influencer marketing. "Unbox'd" will feature three well-known members of a food influencer community that racks up millions of views on TikTok, many of which come from Gen Z and millennial viewers who are spending more time on the platform. So Yummy also boasts a 350 million monthly viewership on its own social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram, according to the press release, which Walmart will seek to draw from as it expands its consumer base.