Walmart and Weight Watchers launch meal kits

Weight Watchers International, which counts Oprah Winfrey among its biggest shareholders, is getting into the meal-kit business.

The weight-loss company announced Thursday that it plans to roll out meal kits — boxes that include fresh, pre-measured ingredients that you cook at home — at supermarkets during the second half of this year. Weight Watchers is working with the Ventura, Calif.-based meal kit company FreshRealm.

Weight Watchers hasn’t released pricing information.

The news comes three days after Walmart announced plans to sell its own line of meal kits at 2,000 stores nationwide by the end of this year.

Meal kits have grown in popularity as Americans increasingly look for the convenience of using pre-prepped meal ingredients. This $2.5 billion industry is expected to grow 20% annually, according to Pentallect, a Chicago-based food industry consultancy.

“We know people today need the tools, inspiration and community to develop healthy habits in their day-to-day lives,” Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman said in a statement. “We are delivering the solutions that make healthy eating and cooking accessible, easier and simpler for all.”

Meal kits are part of the company’s new WW Healthy Kitchen initiative, which also includes a line of kitchen tools and products made by the kitchenware company Gibson Overseas, like infuser water bottles, pineapple corers and pots with internal portion-measuring marks. They will go on sale later this year.