Vice, a media company known for its investigative reporting and progressive-leaning news, is now venturing outside the box for potential lucrative revenue streams. They might have found it in the meal kit services industry.
Vice is now offering customers its own meal kit service, dubbed Munchies, and joining a crowded but growing market alongside popular brands like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. The service launched in June.
Employing a star chef for its launch is an important ingredient for Munchies, as well as a branding tie-in to its parent media company. Munchies is partnering with acclaimed Toronto chef Matty Matheson, who hosts the Vice website's "how to" series and stars in the Viceland special Dead Set on Life. According to Inc Magazine, “Matheson designed the first five recipes, though the company plans to collaborate with additional talent after launch.”
"It's an opportunity to monetize," Munchies publisher John Martin told Inc. "Our audience wants to cook, and we have the voices of people that help them cook already."
Vice currently generates revenue through branded content as well as advertising, as most publishing companies do. Martin sees the meal kit delivery service as an extension of the core business, since it appeals to millennial viewers who are likely eating and watching their programming. With publishing revenue declining, this might be a smart move.
Rather than offering subscription services, Munchies will launch by offering per-meal plans in order to get customers to try the service. Right now, they will be offering food choices for vegetarians and vegans, which make up a significant portion of their viewers, as well as meat eaters. Prices range from $5 to $11.50 for 4-person orders, and $9.50 to $15 for 2-person orders. Shipping costs will be an additional charge.
Interestingly, Munchies is also partnering with Chef’d, another meal kit service, for logistics and distribution, such as packing and shipping. Chef’d recently announced its own partnership with Campbell, a popular food brand, and is a competitor in the space. Martin wanted to work with a company that was already successfully doing fulfillment, which can be a tricky and expensive part of the endeavor.
According to his interview with Inc, Martin believes people will gravitate to Munchies because they are looking for a no-commitment meal kit service without a subscription plan, and they are interested in variety. The plan for Munchies is to regularly introduce new recipes to keep customers interested.
Customers can check out munchies.vice.com for more details.