A Walmart spokesperson told FoodNavigator-USA: “We have been expanding our organic assortment across all categories. As we said last year, internal research found that 91% of Walmart shoppers would consider purchasing products from an affordable organic brand at Walmart.”
Asked whether Walmart had had to change the way it sourced products in order to secure reliable supplies of organic products, she said: “We have been developing 3-5 year growth plans with farmers and giving them clear visibility into our future organic needs.”
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.
US organic food sales up 11% to $35.9bn in 2014
US retail sales of organic products rose 11.3% to $39.1bn in 2014, according to the Organic Trade Association (OTA). Of this, organic food sales rose 11% to $35.9bn, while organic non-food sales, at $3.2bn, jumped almost 14%, said OTA CEO Laura Batcha.
"The U.S. organic sector has expanded significantly since OTA first began tracking the industry's performance in 1997. In 1997, organic food sales totaled around $3.4bn, and accounted for under 1% of total food sales. In 2014, organic food claimed almost 5% of the total food sales in the US."
Of all the produce now sold in the US, 12% is organic, she added: "Organic cuts across all regions, all ages, all income groups, all states whether they're red states or blue states. Organic is the face of America."