Walmart is ending its partnership with organic foods company Wild Oats, just two years after the two companies began working together. Walmart worked with Wild Oats with the intention of bringing organic packaged foods to its customers and “removing the premium associated with organic groceries,” said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of Walmart U.S.’ grocery division.
Walmart has plans to add organic products to its shelves by selling more fresh produce and adding organic food to its in-house brand, Great Value, reports The Denver Post. Wild Oats products will be phased out from Walmart shelves in the coming months.
The company has been making efforts to increase organic food sales, including the addition of purple signs to indicate organic items. This push to organic is unsurprising given consumers’ desire for these products. Sales for food labeled “organic” rose 16.7 percent to $13.4 billion for the year ending on April 2. Successful sales on the organic forefront could be what Walmart needs to maintain its edge over its competitors.
At the same time, Walmart is phasing out Price First, its “ultra-basic, low-cost-in-house label” famous for its plain, unattractive blue packaging. According to Yahoo!, Price First was brought to Walmart to better compete with low-cost competitors such as Trader Joe’s and Aldi, which mostly carry generic in-house labels sold at a fraction of the price of major brands.
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