BuzzFeed is looking for money wherever it can find it. Next stop: The kitchen section at Walmart.
The digital publisher is expanding its commerce business by creating a line of its own cookware, which it will sell exclusively through the giant retailer.
Starting next week, Walmart will sell dozens of kitchen tools using BuzzFeed’s Tasty brand in its stores and online at Walmart.com. 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 idea: Walmart benefits because BuzzFeed will use its extensive online reach to drive consumers to its stores and digital properties; BuzzFeed will benefit by getting a piece of the retail sales, plus a deeper relationship with a powerful 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.
The three companies have been working on the deal for about a year, says Steve Ronchetto, who leads the buying team for Walmart’s cook and dining group. Ronchetto says the retailer has worked with a handful of similar deals with other media brands, including The Food Network’s Pioneer Woman. But not many of them: “These are few and far between,” he said.
BuzzFeed’s Tasty group has started using the new tools in its iconic recipe videos, but until now hasn’t been pointing out the branding or that you can buy them at Walmart. That’s going to change, Kaufman says, though he says Tasty producers aren’t required to showcase the branded tools.
This is BuzzFeed’s second Walmart tie-up. Late last year, Tasty started including links to send its users to Walmart to buy groceries and kitchen tools.
It’s also not the first time BuzzFeed has sold kitchen gadgets: Last year, it started selling a $149, internet-connected “precision smart cooktop” (if you want to make BuzzFeed people roll their eyes, call it a hotplate) from its own site. Kaufman says the company sold out of its first run and is making more.
Kaufman figures that 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.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.