Media is a hard business. But if you’ve watched even one episode of Shark Tank, you know that retail is also a hard business. So it’s interesting to learn that BuzzFeed is launching a new line of kitchenware that will be sold in 4,000 Walmart stores. According to Recode, the media company is going to sell a variety of Tasty-branded kitchen tools–including spatulas, cooking sheets, and mixing bowls. Tasty is BuzzFeed’s popular food-oriented brand.
The hope is that BuzzFeed will be able to make up some of the money it lost from revenue streams that underperformed last year. Lest we forget, BuzzFeed reportedly missed huge targets, which caused the company to lay off about 8% of its staff. According to the Wall Street Journal, it missed a $350 million target by between 15% and 20%, so we’re looking at a roughly $52 million target deficit. (Of course, BuzzFeed surely set high goals for growth in 2017, so this isn’t an accurate number for what the company lost from underperforming distribution platforms like Facebook.)
This is likely only the beginning of Jonah Peretti’s retail vision. BuzzFeed is looking to stratify its revenue stream as much as possible–this is the only way for companies that once relied predominately on Facebook to survive. Recode adds that this partnership will both help BuzzFeed make more money as well as deepen its relationship to Walmart, which could prove fruitful later on.
Still, as I said earlier, retail is a hard business. Yes, getting into a store is hard, but after that happens, you have to move merchandise in order to maintain the relationship. The question is: Does Tasty have enough of a palatable brand name to make everyday Americans want to buy its products? We’ll have to wait and see.