Although Wal-Mart has sold organic food products for some time, customers have not always thought of our locations as a place to find them. As part of our strategy of being relevant to customers, we want them to know that we have these products, and that we have them at prices that are better than those offered by the competition. This is even more important in the current economic climate, because organics help us give customers a one-stop shopping experience that will help them save time and fuel costs.
In Spring 2006, we began expanding our assortment of organic foods in certain stores because we felt there was demand for a wider range among the customers of those stores. As with many of our merchandise categories, we do not have the same assortment of organic foods in all of our locations. We tailor merchandise assortments in each store to the needs of the store’s customer base, and organic foods are no exception.
The organic offerings customers may find in our Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets include pasta, olive oil, coffee, tea, peanut butter, bread, oranges, tomatoes, lettuce, apples, fresh herbs (thyme, sage, mint, etc.), packaged salads, baby formula, milk, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, cottage cheese, sauces and seafood. Again, the number of selections will depend on the demand for organic offerings in each specific community.
If a major brand is making a play in the organics category, it’s fitting that a national retailer such as Wal-Mart, with locations around the country, can make products with that brand’s label available to consumers. Consumer shopping patterns have shown that many customers consider it easier to find the organic alternatives they want if they are mixed with conventional selections on the shelves. That is why Wal-Mart customers will find dry grocery, frozen and dairy organic offerings displayed alongside their brand name conventional counterparts. Fresh organic produce is displayed separately in the produce department.
Organic offerings can be found throughout our stores with green signing for customer convenience.
In organic food products, as in all of our categories, our aim is to bring customers every day low prices, and to offer them the best prices in the marketplace on those products. Our pricing strategy is not to set a spread or create a link between prices of organic products and corresponding non-organic products. It is, rather, to offer the best price in the marketplace on each product.
We believe that both organic and conventional agriculture provide safe, healthy, and sustainable products for customers. It is up to our customers to choose which type of product they want to buy, and we want to give them the choice. We believe strongly that USDA standards for organic products must not be compromised. Our customers who buy organic products expect them to meet these standards, so we feel they must be maintained.
Wal-Mart has always supported United States agriculture and buys more U.S. agricultural products than any other retailer in the world. Whenever possible, as with all fresh merchandise, we try to purchase fresh organic products from local suppliers for distribution to our stores in their areas. This is good for the surrounding communities, and helps to generate savings on distribution costs that we can pass on to our customers.
In July 2006, Wal-Mart launched a creative marketing campaign focusing on organics featuring the line, “What will you bring to the table?” Click here to view the organic print advertisement.
Additional information on Wal-Mart’s organic offerings is featured on www.walmart.com Simply click on the Ideas Center icon to learn more about how consumers are discovering affordable organics at Wal-Mart.