It goes without saying that Walmart is nothing short of a business behemoth. It’s the world’s largest retailer and also the world’s largest grocer, with food and other grocery items accounting for more than half of all U.S. sales. But whether you’re a regular shopper or a vocal critic, we bet that there are some things you probably don't know about the food Walmart sells.
The data relating to Walmart, which began its life as a 5 & 10 store in Arkansas in 1950, are nothing short of mild-boggling. There are nearly 11,700 stores worldwide. The company brought in $486 billion in revenue in 2016 and $14.7 billion in profit. 140 million shoppers visit U.S. Walmarts every week, equivalent to about 44 percent of the American population. It’s the nation’s largest private sector employer, with 1.4 million employees in the U.S. and 2.3 million across the globe.
Since food makes up such a large percentage of its sales, the company naturally devotes a lot of energy towards its sourcing. When it comes to produce, for example, they work with suppliers as well as companies like Conservation International to improve fertilizer and yields, control greenhouse gas emissions and water usage, and support farmers and their communities. They’re working on establishing a dedicated beef supply by 2023, will go cage free by 2025, and more than 90 percent of Walmart's seafood in the U.S. has earned Marine Stewardship Certification for Best Aquaculture Practices, or is engaged in a Fishery Improvement Project.
It certainly hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for Walmart, especially when it comes to how much its employees are paid; in some states, it’s said that they have more employees on food stamps than any other company. And it might have been a bad PR move to set out donation bins in its stores… for their own employees. But as with every giant company, you have to take the bad with the good, and when it comes to the food it sells, the arrow seems to be pointing in the direction of good, for the most part, and the company is actively working to reinvent how America buys its groceries. Read on for 10 things you didn’t know about Walmart food.