Fast-casual restaurant chain Freshii has begun selling fresh, ready-to-eat items at select Walmart Canada stores in Ontario.
Toronto-based Freshii said it will offer a curated selection of better-for-you salads, wraps, lunch kits, snacks and cold-pressed juices at 100 Walmart Canada locations by the end of April. The items also will be sold through Walmart.ca.
In the stores, the Freshii foods and beverages will be stocked in the fresh department. The offerings rolled out to the first Walmart Canada locations late last week.
The companies said the partnership makes Walmart Canada the only supermarket to carry Freshii’s on-the-go products.
“We are always looking for new ways to offer our customers an expanded product assortment and added choice,” Bertrand Loumaye, chief merchandising officer at Mississauga, Ontario-based Walmart Canada, which has 410 stores overall. “We are pleased to collaborate with Freshii, a well-loved, local Canadian brand to bring our customers nutritious and on-the-go options in an affordable way.”
Freshii called the Walmart Canada retail distribution a “significant grocery collaboration” and said it builds on the retailer’s one-stop shopping formula by adding a menu of healthful and convenient lunch, dinner and in-between meal options.
“We are excited to collaborate with Walmart Canada to bring healthier, fresh food to every neighborhood,” Freshii founder and CEO Matthew Corrin said. “Reaching Walmart Canada’s clientele is a huge step for our brand, and we look forward to winning the hearts of their customers.”
Describing itself as a pioneer in the burgeoning “healthy fast food” category, Freshii serves up a range of breakfast items, soups, salads, wraps, bowls, burritos, frozen yogurt, juices and smoothies at 439 restaurants in 16 countries and more than 35 states and provinces in North America.
In reporting fiscal 2018 results last week, Freshii said its items will become available in at least 100 Walmart stores in Ontario in the first and second quarters of 2019. “We are also in late-stage discussions in relation to further broadening the availability of our emerging CPG/grab-and-go offerings, and we expect to continue to announce growth in this exciting line of business in the near and medium term,” the company added.
Freshii already works with another retailer in the food/drug/mass channel: Walgreens. Since 2016, the restaurant chain has opened locations inside select Walgreens drugstores in New York, Miami, Chicago and Boston. A partnership with Target Corp., which led to Freshii restaurants in 18 Target stores, ended in September 2017 after launching in 2015.
Last June, Freshii kicked off a partnership with Shell Canada to offer meals, snacks and juices at Shell locations in the greater Toronto area. And in October 2017, Air Canada began offering Freshii meal options on flights with its Bistro service.