Digital publisher BuzzFeed is expanding its commerce business by creating a line of its own cookware, which it will sell exclusively through Walmart.
The retailer will begin selling dozens of Tasty-branded tools at Walmart.com and in-store. The products, which range in price from $4.44 to $99 and include spatulas, cooking sheets and mixing bowls, will get dedicated shelf space at some 4,000 Walmart stores.
The partnership is part of a diversification in business strategy for Buzzfeed. The publisher has had to diversify its revenue sources, as online ads and a Facebook partnership have underperformed for the company.
Walmart benefits from the partnership due to BuzzFeed’s extensive digital reach, while BuzzFeed gets a portion of the retail sales and a deeper relationship with a strong retail partner.
The Tasty-branded kitchen products are made by Epoca International, a Boca Raton, Florida-based housewares manufacturer, which will give BuzzFeed a cut of the wholesale price — likely a single-digit percentage — each time a consumer buys one of its tools and gadgets. Ben Kaufman, who runs BuzzFeed’s commerce group, says that Walmart will also reward BuzzFeed for particular transactions.
It’s also not the first time BuzzFeed has sold kitchen gadgets: Last year, it started selling a $149, internet-connected “precision smart cooktop” from its own site. Kaufman says the company sold out of its first run and is making more.
Kaufman states that the kitchen tools will make up about 25 percent of his commerce group’s revenue this year, but the main driver for his group remains affiliate links to retailers, which reward the company when a user clicks on them or uses them to make a purchase.