Making healthier food a reality for all
In 2011, Walmart committed to making food healthier, affordable and accessible. The five key elements of the program include:
1. Reformulating thousands of everyday packaged food items by 2015
We're reducing sodium by 25%, reducing added sugars by 10% and removing all remaining industrially produced trans fats.
Our estimates indicate that if the reformulations are adopted by the entire grocery industry, adults in the U.S. will consume approximately 47 million fewer pounds of sodium each year.
We've made a lot of progress and our customers are already enjoying the benefits.
- Walmart and our suppliers reduced sodium across targeted categories by 9%. Examples include, but not limited to, salad dressings, lunch meats and frozen entrees. Additionally, examples of reductions in sodium include Great Value ketchup by 15%, and commercial bread by 13% (products in the bread aisle).
- Walmart also reduced added sugars across targeted categories including fruit drinks and yogurts by more than 10%. For example, in the yogurt category, added sugars declined by more than 12% through a combination of reduced added sugars in existing products and the introduction of new, lower sugar options.
2. Making healthier choices more affordable
We set an ambitious goal: save customers approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruits and vegetables. How? Through a variety of sourcing, pricing, and transportation and logistics initiatives that will drive unnecessary costs out of the supply chain. We also set out to dramatically reduce or eliminate price premiums on key “better-for-you” items, such as reduced sodium, sugar or fat products.
And we are doing it. To date, we have saved our customers $2.3 billion by offering low prices on fruits and vegetables. As for the price premium on “better-for-you” items...we slashed the prices on more than 350 items, such as low-sodium lunchmeat, reduced-fat peanut butter and fat-free salad dressing.
3. Developing strong criteria for a simple front-of-package seal
Our customers told us they wanted to make healthier choices for their families, but needed help deciphering all the claims and information already displayed on products.
Unveiled in February 2012, Walmart’s “Great For You” icon provides customers with an easy way to quickly identify healthier food choices. As families continue to balance busy schedules and tight budgets, this simple tool encourages them to have a healthier diet.
The Great For You icon will initially appear on select Walmart Great Value and Marketside items, as well as on fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables at Walmart U.S. stores nationwide.
4. Providing solutions to address food deserts by building stores in underserved communities
As part of our commitment to provide solutions to food deserts, we announced we would provide more than 1.3 million people living in more than 700 USDA designated food deserts with access to fresh, healthier food. We said we would open between 275 and 300 stores in areas serving food deserts by 2016.
Since our commitment in July 2011, we have opened 86 stores in areas serving urban and rural USDA-designated food deserts, bringing healthier food options to more than 264,000 people.
5. Increasing charitable support for nutrition programs
Education is the cornerstone for driving any sustainable change. Helping people understand what they are eating, what is healthy, what is not, so they can make healthier choices.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have increased charitable support for nutrition education programs, resulting in $26 million of total giving, including the funding of important programs from Share Our Strength, the American Heart Association, the National 4-H Council and Alliance for a Healthier Generation.