The world’s most famous retailer is upping their organic ante.
Honestly I can’t even tell you the last time I was in a Wal-Mart. The one closest to me is always busy. ALWAYS. There’s only one way in and out of their parking lot which they share with Sam’s Club, Lowes and Chick-Filet-A. Lastly, in my personal opinion, the quality of their supermarket offerings just isn’t up to competing with Wegman’s across the highway.
Despite my personal issues, Wal-Mart seems to be right up my alley. I try to buy organic products when financially possible. They carry 1,600 organic items including products from companies like Muir Glen, Pacific, and Organic Valley. Their promise is “Always low prices. Always.” So what’s my issue really? In addition to feeling like I’m part of a cattle call when trying to shop there, I’m really not a fan of their GMO stance and business practice of encouraging (and even teaching!) employees how to collect welfare and food stamps. It feels wrong supporting a company who does so many things I consider immoral. Social pressure just might be catching up to them as more and more people become aware of these things. Since I can afford to shop other places, and there is plenty of competition in the area, I do.
But wait! They’re about to drop a bomb!
Did you know that world’s largest retailer and nation’s largest grocery seller just signed an exclusive deal with Wild Oats? That’s right people. They’re planning on using their clout for good to force organic food prices down to a more realistic level. I like to buy organic, but let’s face it sometimes comparable conventional products are DOLLARS less than their organic counterparts.
The new Wild Oats product line will be available starting in April 2014. Over the next few months approximately 100 new Wild Oats organic products will start hitting shelves in 2,000 Walmart stores (that’s 50% of their retail outlets). But these aren’t your average organic products. These will be different. They will be AT LEAST 25% LESS than the current nationally recognized organic brands. For example:
6-ounce can of organic tomato paste:
Wild Oats brand – 58 cents. National-brand organic version – 98 cents.
32-ounce can of organic chicken broth:
Wild Oats brand – $1.98. National-brand organic version – $3.47.
Holy savings Batman!
Wal-Mart isn’t stopping just food either. They plan on expanding the brand into household staples and the beauty aisle. How are they achieving these low prices? By making long-term commitments with growers and producers. Seems ridiculously simple right? It’s a wonder other retailers haven’t thought of it before.
What’s even better? The ripple-effect! If Wal-Mart can offer quality organic products to consumers, they are going to start eating into the profit margins of companies like Whole
Paycheck Foods and Mom’s Organic Market. Despite my loyalty, sometimes I think the last two companies are vying for most expensive grocery store of all time.
Health and food conscious consumers are forcing retailers to take notice through the money they spend. According to the Organic Trade Association, organic food and other products generated sales of $31.5 billion in the U.S. in 2012, up 10.3% from 2011’s sales figures. In contrast, 2002 sales figures were only $8.4 billion. Yes inflation has something to do with the rise in prices, but those figures have more than tripled in just 10 years with no signs of slowing down.
Jack Sinclair, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president of grocery, told reporters “We are removing the premium associated with organic groceries. Prices are going to have to come down.”
Well said Jack. I’m looking forward to taking you up on your offer soon.