Shortly after teaming up with parent company WOWorks in the spring, Walmart has debuted the first ghost kitchen for Saladworks and Frutta Bowls in Rochester, N.Y., at 2150 Chili Avenue.
This opening comes after WOWorks signed a deal with Edmonton, Alberta-based Ghost Kitchen Brands for 90 nontraditional retail presences in North America — many of which will be in Walmart stores.
"We're thrilled to make yet another debut for Saladworks inside a major retailer, and the first for Frutta Bowls. These partnerships have proven to be incredible opportunities for WOWorks, and we're looking forward to the growth that will come out of this opening," said Eric Lavinder, chief development officer for WOWorks. "Guests continue to receive the same hospitality and healthy experience they have at our stand-alone restaurants, but with even more accessibility and convenience at Walmart locations."
In addition to simply ordering in person, Saladworks and Frutta Bowls will give Walmart customers the choice of ordering online through the brands' websites, by using the Ghost Kitchen Brands website or by using third-party delivery platforms.
Conshohocken, Pa.-based Saladworks currently has 150-plus locations across 18 states and two countries, more than 40 of those having opened in just the past year. For Saladworks, the initiative to open restaurants in nontraditional venues began in early 2019 and continues to be at the forefront of its future goals. The fast-casual brand provides guests with a variety of healthy items through Signature salad options, as well as Create-Your-Own options, which include salads, wraps, grain bowls, soups and more. Among the company's other food retailer partners are The Giant Co. and The Kroger Co.
Frutta Bowls, which has more than 30 locations and is based Freehold, N.J., is also following Saladworks' lead, with an emphasis on both traditional and nontraditional growth, after becoming part of the WOWorks family in December 2020. The superfoods café’s menu features customizable bowls, smoothies and protein bites packed with vitamin- and antioxidant-rich superfoods such as acai, pitaya and kale, along with almonds, blueberries, oatmeal and dark chocolate to help boost immunity levels.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores under 48 banners in 24 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam’s Club ranks No. 9 on the list. The Giant Co.'s parent company Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 11, and Kroger is No. 3 on The PG 100.