Walmart has unveiled a comprehensive effort to provide its customers with healthier and more affordable food choices. The five key elements of the program include:
1) Reformulating thousands of everyday packaged food items by 2015 by reducing sodium by 25% and added sugars by 10%, and by removing all remaining industrially produced trans fats. The company will work with suppliers to improve the nutritional quality of national food brands and its Great Value private brand in key product categories.
2) Making healthier choices more affordable, saving customers approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruits and vegetables through a variety of sourcing, pricing, and transportation and logistics initiatives that will drive unnecessary costs out of the supply chain. Walmart also will dramatically reduce or eliminate the price premium on key “better-for-you” items, such as reduced sodium, sugar, or fat products.
3) Developing strong criteria for a simple front-of-package seal that will help consumers instantly identify truly healthier food options such as whole grain cereal, whole wheat pasta, or unsweetened canned fruit.
4) Providing solutions to address food deserts by building stores in underserved communities that are in need of fresh and affordable groceries.
5) Increasing charitable support for nutrition programs that help educate consumers about healthier food solutions and choices.
“No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford,” said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “With more than 140 million customer visits each week, Walmart is uniquely positioned to make a difference by making food healthier and more affordable to everyone. We are committed to working with suppliers, government, and non-governmental organizations to provide solutions that help Americans eat healthier and live a better life.”
The company also has made it a priority to find new ways to provide fresh and affordable groceries to people in urban and rural communities who are living in food deserts. “As we continue to expand in the U.S., we are focused on developing new formats and new approaches that will offer underserved communities fresh and affordable food options where they are needed most,” Simon said.