March 1, 2024


Welcome to the Food

Walmart, so Yummy Team up on New Cooking Show With Shoppable Content

  • Walmart is partnering with So Yummy, the maker of viral food content videos, on shoppable recipes.
  • This is Walmart’s latest foray into next-gen e-commerce strategies, including livestream shopping.
  • So Yummy earns 350 million monthly video views on social media, and broadcasts to 40 million homes.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Walmart is teaming up with So Yummy, a media brand behind a slew of viral online food videos, to create shoppable content.

So Yummy, a subsidiary of First Media, will air 10 episodes of a new reality show called Unbox’d beginning on May 17 alongside the retail giant. The program will feature social media food influencers competing to cook up the best dish using pre-determined ingredients. 

Unbox’d will air on So Yummy TV — which broadcasts to 40 million households in the US available across DirecTV, Xfinity, Sling, and other cable and streaming video providers — as well as the television network’s social media channels.

“Walmart is focused on meeting our customers where they are and we continue to create innovative ways to shorten the distance between inspiration and purchase,” Sarah Henry, Walmart’s senior director of content and influencer marketing, said in a statement sent to Insider. “We are excited to partner with First Media to bring entertaining, shoppable food content to customers in a fun, seamless way.”

The move is Walmart’s lastest push to get creative with its e-commerce options made available to customers. In November 2020, the retailer partnered with home-cooking platform Sidechef on shoppable recipes. Walmart also leveraged social media platform TikTok to unlock livestream shopping, where shoppers can purchase items during a live event. Shoppable content allows would-be customers to watch content and purchase items immediately after.

‘The machine that we’re building’

Unbox’d will take the form of a reality competition show, which will see food influencers compete to create dishes only using ingredients from a “mystery box” provided by So Yummy and anything they can buy with a $10 Walmart gift card, according to Sharon Rechter, the cofounder, president, and head of business development and distribution at First Media. 

After a winner is declared, the shoppable aspect of the partnership between So Yummy and Walmart kicks in. Viewers will be able to go on social media and click on So Yummy’s videos to shop recipes that made up the winner’s dish.

“What we realized — and the pandemic accelerated this — was that we had the most engaging content, but people wanted more,” Rechter told Insider. “People wanted the convenience of actually being able to see an amazing So Yummy recipe, but they also wanted to be able to get the ingredients in their own house.”

So Yummy fans viewing on television can also receive recipe ingredients at their door step by texting the name of the winning contestant to a designated number after an episode. 

“You might just click that link and go and say, ‘You know what? This was such a cool video. I really enjoyed it. I’m going to get the ingredients,'” Rechter added. “And really that’s the machine that we’re building on the social side.”

Regardless of where the viewer is engaging with the Unbox’d recipe, the ingredients can be added to a cart, and fulfilled at a nearby Walmart store. Shoppers will also be given the option to tweak quantities to save money and prevent waste, and swap out products to their liking. Rechter said that the project is also a great opportunity for brands to have their everyday items turned into a viral recipe.

“With Walmart, we found a phenomenal partner to actually take all the things that we’re doing and offer them as shoppable products,” Rechter said. “On the brand side, we’re allowing companies and brands that could never go direct to consumer to go direct to consumer.”

Gaining access to millions of So Yummy viewers

First Media’s relationship with Walmart extends beyond this new partnership. The companies have worked together for the last three years, with Walmart signing on with First Media for direct-to-consumer paid media campaigns.

The multi-platform publisher rakes in 1.7 billion monthly video views on Facebook. First Media’s channel lineup includes BabyFirst TV — which broadcasts to 60 million homes — along with Blossom, and Blusher, in addition to So Yummy. Programming ranges from home decor and beauty to food and parenting tips.

So Yummy is the publisher’s food-focused brand, and it attracts around 350 million monthly video views on social media and broadcasts to 40 million households.

Rechter said that millennials — particularly young women — make up a key demographic for So Yummy, and that these shoppers want to save time, get more value from products, and become “Instagram heroes” with special dishes, whether it’s food for a school bake sale or a meal cooked for family and friends. 

“We hope that what we’re doing here with Walmart will make a difference for consumers — making it easier for them to find content that they can engage with in a different way,” Rechter said. “In the retail world, we hope we can meet users that maybe were not Walmart shoppers who can experience the vision of Walmart and First Media first and then go to their shopping cart and go, ‘Oh my God, this is so cheap but it’s great quality.'”