FRANCE – Carrefour, one of the largest hypermarket chains in the world, has announced that it has acquired a majority stake in the Paris-based ecommerce start-up, Quitoque.

The acquisition of the leader of meal kit deliveries, and one of the French pioneers in food technology is part of a strategy to add strength to its digital offering.

It is also a way the hypermarket chain is trying to strengthen its position in the online retail sector amidst competition from other giants like Amazon, who are currently coming up with seller policies meant to impact prices online.

In January, Carrefour, together with Alexandre Bompard, who took over as Carrefour’s CEO in July, announced a US$3.45 billion investment over five years, or six times more than current investments, to gain a new dimension in digital and omnichannel.

Quitoque pays particular attention to the quality, freshness and taste of its products by favouring those of French origin.

Through a subscription system, it offers each week varied and healthy recipes to be prepared at home with local, organic and seasonal products.

“Quitoque will enable us to strengthen our position in the food-tech industry in order to provide an omnichannel response to new consumer habits through the combination of proximity, convenience and quality,” Marie Cheval, executive director at Carrefour, said in a statement.

She added that Carrefour constantly strives to be closer to its customers and to enrich the shopping experience by offering innovative services that simplify everyday shopping.

As part of the agreement, Quitoque will remain managed by its co-founders who will continue to develop the company alongside Carrefour.

“This transaction confirms the relevance of our model and will enable us to capitalise on Carrefour’s strengths to accelerate our omnichannel development,” said Etienne Boix, Quitoque co-founder.