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CNBC reports that Marc Lore - who built Quidsi and sold it to Amazon and then built Jet and sold it to Walmart, making himself hundreds of millions of dollars in the process - is getting into the food truck business.

The story says that Lore has invested an undisclosed amount in Wonder, described as "a business that is part food truck, part ghost kitchen," where Scott Hilton, "a longtime colleague and former chief revenue officer of Walmart’s e-commerce business," is the CEO.  Lore's brother, Chad Lore, has an executive role in the business, while Marc Lore is serving as an advisor.

Here's how CNBC describes the business:

"The business is being piloted in the affluent town of Westfield, New Jersey, where its trucks have become ubiquitous throughout its limited delivery area and drawing heat from some residents … Its purple and black vans congregate in the parking lot of a shuttered Lord & Taylor department store and line up across the street from a Stop & Shop supermarket. Generators hum as the vans wait to head out into the surrounding neighborhood to prepare freshly cooked meals."

Wonder's vans "are outfitted with mobile kitchens, and a trained chef travels on each truck, ingredients in tow, to finish off meals once the vehicle arrives at each house. 

"Wonder’s goal is to deliver food that’s still piping hot when it reaches the front door. It tackles the pitfalls of takeout like limp french fries. And its salads aren’t soggy, since the vegetables were only tossed in the dressing moments before."

CNBC writes that "Wonder is sourcing its menus from top restaurants headed by celebrity chefs from across the country. The company has partnered with these businesses to re-create their menus and license their restaurant concepts, according to the person familiar with how the business works. 

"Offerings include Bobby Flay Steak, The Mainstay by Marc Murphy, Frankies Spuntino, JBird by Jonathan Waxman, Fred’s Meat & Bread, and Tejas Barbecue, with such options as wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas, New York strip and rib-eye steaks, and build-your-own family taco bar."

KC's View:

Anybody who reads MNB knows that I'm a big fan of the food truck model, especially as it spins out of its traditional role and moves into new directions.  Just the other day we had a story about how food trucks were getting into the wedding catering business.  Earlier in the pandemic, we had a story about how food trucks, which traditionally could be found in urban outposts, were looking to expand into the suburbs as they pivoted to serve people who were working from home.  And it wasn't that long ago that we had a story about Fleat, a model that is able to use machine learning to combine a delivery model with the ability to up-sell customers with products they've bought in the past.

I'm intrigued by the idea that Marc Lore is getting into the business, and I love the idea of an upscale model … it is a niche, to be sure, but has the potential of being a lucrative niche.

I continue to believe that every food retailer ought to be thinking about how to use a food truck to spread the word … sell more stuff … serve more people … and bring their brands to areas they're not currently serving.