The Low Post News

Walmart Partnership to Lower Prices of Organic Foods

Walmart wants more Americans to purchase organic foods even those people on a tight budget. The world’s largest retailer and leader in the U.S. in grocery sales announced Thursday it has entered into a deal to carry the organic food brand Wild Oats at prices that are non-organic.

The move might help revive the falling grocery sales at Walmart and boost the profile of Wild Oats, which has now been resurrected. The effort by Walmart also might increase the pressure on mainstream food providers such as ConAgra Foods and Campbell Soup.

In 2012, organic foods only accounted just 4% of all food sales in the U.S. However, growth in that category for years has been higher than the industry overall, buoyed in part by an increased demand for simpler foods made from ingredients that are natural.

Organic foods usually cost more to purchase than conventional rivals did and because of that, many U.S. shoppers who are lower income are limited in what they can purchase. The niche products need that large amount of shoppers to propel the niche industry into a national one.

Many Walmart customers fall into that category and the company said it would price the products from Wild Oats at a par with conventional grocery items and a minimum of 25% below the price of other branded organic foods.

The products from Wild Oats will include such staples as salsa, canned black beans, olive oil and tomato paste.

Research done by Walmart showed that over 91% of its customers would purchase organic products that were affordable if the retailer offered them.

Kellogg Co, Unilever and Kraft Foods as well as other large food providers have taken baby steps in response to consumers who are health conscious losing their taste for foods that are highly processed.

Because of that, some market share has been lost to smaller companies in the industry like Annie’s Inc and WhiteWave Foods the Horizon’s parent company. Horizon sells organic dairy products.

Walmart over the upcoming months will introduce 100 packaged food products from Wild Oats to 50% of its 4,000 stores.

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