Touché Target. The chain's announcement of its "Made to Matter" collection of organic and natural products has gotten a lot of attention. But stay en garde. Here's Walmart's counter-strike — news that it is helping to relaunch the Wild Oats brand with a line of organic products. The line is said to save customers 25 percent or more over the prices it currently charges for branded organics in its stores.
"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. This is part of our ongoing effort to use our scale to deliver quality, affordable groceries to our customers."
Walmart, which will be the exclusive national retailer of the Wild Oats brand, plans to offer about 100 items in about half its 4,000 stores in the U.S. The chain currently sells more than 1,600 organic products, including fresh produce and dairy products. Research conducted with Walmart customers found that 91 percent would consider purchasing organic products if they were made affordable.
What effect will Walmart's deal with Wild Oats have on the grocery industry's pricing of organic foods?