BuzzFeed, maker of the wildly popular Tasty cooking video series, announced today that it is teaming up with Walmart to debut an exclusive line of Tasty cookware. The move is a delicious bit of vertical integration that extends revenue for BuzzFeed beyond ads, and lets Walmart capitalize on the enormous popularity of the ubiquitous overhead recipe show.
The Tasty cookware include more than 90 products, and is already available on Walmart’s website. According to the press release:
The Tasty cookware line features bright colors that pop in the kitchen, and includes all the tools necessary to prepare Tasty’s more than 2,700 recipes to date. The line features Non-stick Forged Aluminum Cookware in sets and open Stock, available in 4 colors. This includes 11pc Cookware Set at $99; Non-stick Metal Bakeware with silicone handle inserts, Silicone head utensils, soft grip gadgets and glass mixing bowls. The Tasty Kitchen line will be used in Tasty videos and was designed and developed with the Tasty fan in mind, as BuzzFeed research shows that 2 out of 3 Tasty fans have made a Tasty recipe.
Tasty cookware is the next logical step in the evolution of BuzzFeed and Walmart’s relationship. Amidst missing revenue targets in November of last year, BuzzFeed CEO, Jonah Peretti sent a memo to his company about the need to move beyond ads, saying “As our strategy evolves, we need to evolve our organization, too — particularly our Business team, which was built to support direct sold advertising but will need to bring in different, more diverse expertise to support these new lines of business.”
One of those new lines of business was the Tasty branded One Top, a countertop induction burner that syncs with Tasty videos in the new media publisher’s first foray into guided cooking. Then in December of last year, BuzzFeed and Walmart teamed up to sell equipment and groceries necessary for making Tasty recipes. So it makes sense for BuzzFeed to capture more of that revenue by hawking its own line of cookware in its videos. It also gives them another set of hardware beyond the One Top to extend their guided cooking app over time.
And it looks like this is just the beginning for the two companies. Today’s press release calls the Tasty cookware line the “cornerstone of a broader strategic partnership” and that we can look forward to collaboration across a “wide range of consumer products.”
While it will be interesting to watch how these two companies create further culinary synergy, it’s easy to see opportunities for more immediate vertical integration. Recipe videos like Tasty’s are a discovery and commerce platform. In addition to selling the hardware, incorporating instant shoppable recipes like those generated by Whisk (also a Walmart partner), means food inspiration can easily turn into a same day reality (and revenue).
The other benefit for Walmart is that the Tasty relationship is exclusive. This puts up a defensive wall around Tasty’s massive audience against Amazon and Target in the heated battle for food supremacy.