(Reuters) - Campbell Soup Co (CPB.N) said it would partner with Chef'd and invest $10 million in the meal kit company as it steps up efforts to cater to changing consumer tastes toward fresher and healthier foods.
The deal would help Campbell Soup grow its e-commerce presence, the company said on Wednesday.
Campbell Soup created its own fresh-food unit in 2015 to sell carrots, carrot ingredients, refrigerated beverages and salad dressings, but the business has been struggling.
The world's largest soupmaker has been reporting weak sales as demand for packaged food in the United States has taken a hit as more customers prefer healthier options, pushing companies to invest in organic and fresh food businesses.
Food and drink megabrands are seeing their sales chewed away by smaller, nimbler, cooler rivals. They can't beat them - so now they're joining them.
Nine of the world's biggest industry players, including Danone (DANO.PA), General Mills (GIS.N), Campbell Soup and Kellogg (K.N), have launched venture capital units over the past 18 months, a Reuters analysis of the sector showed.
Diageo, the world's biggest liquor maker, has invested in 14 start-ups through its venture capital arm Distill Ventures and Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) has invested in Honest Tea, among others.
In October, Campbell Soup invested in personalized meal delivery company Habit.
Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto