On April 10th Wal-Mart announced that it would be wielding its mack daddy of all department stores status to bring more organic foods to the mainstream masses.
This is especially great news for those who don’t have a Whole Foods Market (or something similar) close to home, don’t have it in their budgets to pay the premium prices for organic foods, or those who already shop at Wal-Mart and would benefit from the convenience of one-stop shopping.
In a recent statement, Jack Sinclair, Executive Vice President of Grocery at Wal-Mart U.S, said, “There will be no premium for the customer to purchase organic products… They will be able to purchase organic at non-organic prices.”
Wal-Mart’s strategy to undercut the typical prices in the organic food market involves a recent partnership with Wild Oats, which had previously operated as its own chain of health food stores before being bought out by Whole Foods in 2007.
Wal-Mart Offering Organic Foods at “Non-Organic” Prices
Wal-Mart will be the only retail chain stocking Wild Oats organic foods, with the expectation that Wal-Mart will be able to offer their organic food options at price points that will be 25% less than is offered by other organic brands for the same type of products.
“For example, 32 ounces of Wild Oats Marketplace Organic Chicken Broth is priced at $1.98 on Walmart.com, in comparison with an organic chicken broth from Swanson at $2.88. Wild Oats Marketplace Organic Tomato Sauce costs 88 cents for 15 ounces (5.9 cents per ounce), in comparison with $2.48 for 24 ounces from Bertolli (10.3 cents per ounce).”
As good as all this sounds, I can’t allow myself to become too euphoric over this news since this partnership won’t extend to produce and dairy products.
With U.S. non-organic produce now being annually sprayed with billions of pounds of pesticides that are known to be carcinogenic, and then being ingested by the masses, it could be well argued that buying organic produce should be a top priority.
Still, it’s refreshing to see that healthier organic food options will now be available to those who didn’t have access to them before, whether due to location or economic reasons.
Apparently, Wal-Mart’s fiscal assessments on the feasibility of offering affordable organic foods concluded what is already painfully obvious to anyone who’s ever set foot inside a Whole Foods Market…
The organic foods market is booming with consumer demand that continues to grow with no signs of slowing anytime soon. It’s odd, but it seems that people don’t prefer to purchase foods for their families that are toxic and devoid of nutritional value.
Sadly, far too many Americans remain ignorant to the fact that the vast majority of our food supply is better suited for destroying life than nurturing it.
Wal-Mart Getting In On the Booming Organic Foods Market
As I already alluded to, the organic foods market is booming nationwide, rising 10.8 percent in 2012 to $26.3 billion, according to the Nutrition Business Journal. The market appears to have grown a further 11 percent in 2013, and is expected to sustain a 10 to 12 percent annual growth through 2020, reaching $60 billion.
This growth far surpasses that of the non-organic food market.
With all this expected growth and demand among its customers Wal-Mart would have been foolish not to take advantage of this trend.
Specifically, Jack Sinclair disclosed that Wal-Mart customers in particular helped bring affordable organic foods to its shelves. According to a recent survey conducted by Wal-Mart, 91% of its customers would buy more organic products if the prices were more affordable.
Not only did Wal-Mart hear the call, but because of their retail giant status are able to do what perhaps no other storefront could: Offer organic foods to their customers at prices that appeal to everyone.
In addition to the typical economies of scale that allow Wal-Mart to offer such steep discounts, Wal-Mart can afford to lower prices on organic products for another reason: Wal-Mart can leverage their expansive customer base by guaranteeing Wild Oats that a substantial volume of its products will be sold, thus removing some of the market uncertainty that inflates the price of many organic products.
If you’re wondering when you might see the new Wild Oats organic offerings in a Wal-Mart near you, a specific date hasn’t been set. But the rollout is currently expected to take place by late summer.
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