Walmart to Put More Focus on Produce by Sourcing Locally
BENTONVILLE, AR – Walmart is stepping up its produce game, in the name of further increased sales and customer loyalty. The company announced it will start sourcing fresh fruits and vegetables from more local sources.
“We want to make sure Walmart is a company that our associates and customers are proud of - and that we are always doing right by them and by the communities they live in,” CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement, according to CBS News. “That’s really what these commitments are about. And that’s why we’re so passionate about them.”
Walmart disclosed that it intends to double its sales by 2025 for locally-grown produce sold at the chain, according to CBS News. This new focus was outlined by McMillon during the Net Impact Conference in Philadelphia as part of the retailer’s “new era of trust and transparency.”
Walmart is undergoing this shift in strategy as it has observed that millennials now outnumber baby boomers, which has increased the particular sect of consumers' buy-side sway. The company found that the millennial demographic, as well as Generation Z, are more likely to be loyal to companies that help social and environmental causes.
“We have done a lot of work with our key customer target, millennials and busy families, and these issues are growing in importance with those customers,” Laura Phillips, Senior Vice President of Walmart Sustainability, stated to CBS MoneyWatch. “When we started the work [about a decade ago], we were maybe a little bit ahead of consumers, and they are pushing and pulling now.”
In addition to its local produce pledge, Walmart will begin looking to rid its private-brand items of synthetic colors and artificial flavors where consumers would not expect them to be present.
Walmart is also looking to boost its renewable energy sources to provide for half of its needs by 2025, and has put into place an emissions-reduction plan approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative. Furthermore, the company is looking to revamp its work policies to become a more friendly environment for employees to navigate.
As Walmart shifts sourcing strategies, are other buy-side banners soon to follow? AndNowUKnow will keep you up-to-date on this story as it unfolds.