Wild Oats to launch at Walmart - at prices 25% lower than rival organic products

By Elaine WATSON

- Last updated on GMT

Walmart: 'Creating a new price position for organic groceries that increases access'
Walmart: 'Creating a new price position for organic groceries that increases access'
Walmart has signaled its intention to get into organic food in a big way this week with plans to carry 100 Wild Oats organic products at a “new, more affordable price point” in 2,000 stores.

According to Walmart, customers will save 25%+ when comparing Wild Oats to national brand organic products.

“We know our customers are interested in purchasing organic products and, traditionally, those customers have had to pay more​,” said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of grocery at Walmart U.S. “We are changing that and creating a new price position for organic groceries that increases access.”​ 

CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said the move meant that more land would be farmed with organic methods and more Americans would have access to organic food.

He added: “Like with everything else Walmart does, there will be trade-offs here. Regardless of the company’s behavior in other spheres, it has demonstrated before that its marketplace power can help drive valuable progress on nutrition and the environment.”

Walmart: 'We are creating a new price position for organic groceries that increases access'

Organic retailer Wild Oats was acquired by Whole Food Market in 2007 but sold again two years later following anti-trust concerns. It was later purchased by Hidden Villa, an egg company that subsequently sold it to The Yucaipa Co. Yucaipa also owns 167 Fresh & Easy grocery stores in California, Nevada and Arizona, where Wild Oats products are now sold.

Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb told CNBC the move would not dent sales in his stores, adding that Walmart's customer base "overlaps least with us​,” while the Wild Oats assortment in Walmart is primarily packaged goods rather than fresh products.

US retail sales of organic products were worth $35bn in 2013, according to USDA, which says it helped an additional 763 producers become certified organic in 2013, up 4.2% from the previous year. 

Click HERE​ for more details about Walmart's plans.

Related topics: Markets, Organics

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