Campbell Soup Co. invested $10 million in an online meal delivery startup in hopes of bolstering its e-commerce operations.
Campbell contributed to a Series B fundraising campaign from Chef’d, which offers hundreds of meal kit delivery options without subscriptions or membership fees.
The soup maker, which also owns the Prego and Pepperidge Farm brands, is now the California startup's largest strategic investor and will take a seat on the company's board.
The companies also announced a three-year strategic partnership under which Chef’d will provide e-commerce, data analytics and shopper behavior insight to Campbell, as well as assist with the infrastructure and distribution of meals through the Campbell’s Kitchen website.
Campbell, like other packaged food companies, struggled as consumers turned to foods perceived as fresher and healthier. The company projects that e-commerce food and beverage sales will grow at an average annual rate of 38 percent between 2016 and 2021 and hit $66 billion by the end of that window.
"We are fully committed to growing our e-commerce business with an emphasis on bold moves and rapid pace," Campbell executive Mark Alexander said in a statement. "We are firm believers in building relationships with partners that share our vision while enabling us to rapidly learn, evolve and test new capabilities."