SMITHFIELD, VA. — Smithfield Foods, Inc. has invested $25 million in on-line meal kit company Chef’d as part of a Series B round of funding. Other investors included Campbell Soup Co. and Fresh Direct.
With its investment, Smithfield has become the brand’s largest strategic investor and has claimed a seat on the company’s board of directors. The companies will leverage Smithfield’s portfolio of brands, which include Smithfield, Eckrich, Nathan’s Famous, Farmland and Armour, for meal kit solutions across a range of occasions. Additionally, Chef’d will gain access to Smithfield’s product development and sourcing capabilities, national distribution network and facilities, and Smithfield is expected to benefit from Chef’d’s direct-to-consumer model by collecting consumer insights and sales data.
|Kenneth Sullivan, president and c.e.o. of Smithfield Foods.|
“This strategic partnership reflects our continued commitment to innovation — both in our products and how they are delivered to consumers,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods. “We’re able to expand our e-commerce capabilities and reach consumers looking for high-quality, stress-free meals.”
Based in El Segundo, Calif., Chef’d partners with celebrity chefs and dozens of popular brands in food, fitness and health and wellness to provide more than 1,000 meal kit solutions spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The company provides vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
|Kyle Ransford, c.e.o. of Chef’d|
“Leveraging the collective knowledge and capabilities of both companies, our partnership will open up opportunities for innovation and access to first-in-class national manufacturing and distribution facilities as we rapidly scale,” said Kyle Ransford, c.e.o. of Chef’d. “Smithfield is a well-recognized leader in the food industry and shares our vision of meal kits and e-commerce playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ food choices.”Chef’d announced a $10 million investment from Campbell Soup Co. in May. Under the terms of a three-year agreement, Chef’d will help with infrastructure and distribution of meal solutions through the Campbell’s Kitchen site. Additionally, Campbell Soup will gain access to Chef’d’s insights on e-commerce business models, data analytics and insights on shopper behaviors. The two companies also planned to test capabilities around product innovation and fulfillment.