Walmart announced that it will be taking a further step to offer healthy food at affordable prices to consumers when it announced that it will carry Wild Oats organic food items. They plan to offer a wide variety of categories “from salsa and pasta sauce to quinoa and chicken broth. Customers will save 25 percent or more when comparing Wild Oats to national brand organic products.”
Wild Oats, a proven provider of organic groceries, will feature the following lines at Walmart:
• Wild Oats Marketplace Organic™, which adheres to USDA guidelines for organic certification and includes everything from canned vegetables (15 oz) at $.88 to a full range of spices such as paprika, curry powder and ground cinnamon (2 oz) starting at $2.48. Organic items represent nearly 90 percent of the Wild Oats offering.
• Wild Oats Marketplace™, which includes products with simple and real ingredients such as ready-to-prepare skillet meals (5.8 oz) at $1.50.
• Wild Oats Marketplace Originals™, offering new and uniquely formulated items, will be available later this year.
“We know our customers are interested in purchasing organic products and, traditionally, those customers have had to pay more,” said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of grocery at Walmart U.S. “We are changing that and creating a new price position for organic groceries that increases access. This is part of our ongoing effort to use our scale to deliver quality, affordable groceries to our customers.”
The ongoing project extends Walmart’s actions begun in 2011 when it unveiled a comprehensive effort to provide customers with healthier and more affordable choices. It’s five part plan included: 1. Reformulating thousands of everyday packaged food items by 2015 by reducing sodium 25 percent and added sugars 10 percent, and by removing all remaining industrially produced trans fats. 2. Making healthier choices more affordable, saving customers approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruits and vegetables through a variety of sourcing, pricing, and transportation and logistics initiatives that will drive unnecessary costs out of the supply chain. You can read about the entire program here.
If anyone can possibly make a difference in the nation’s consumption habits, I would think Walmart would be a good starting point. As the nation’s largest food grocer it certainly has the market position. I hope the Walmart customers take advantage of the opportunity to buy pesticide-free and herbicide-free foods going forward.