“Where there’s a quality gap, a price gap or an innovation gap, we’re going to do it through private brands,” Charles Redfield (left), EVP of food at Walmart U.S., told SN during the tour. At right is Jack Pistello, SVP of private brands.
Walmart is using its international presence to share food trends and improve sourcing, officials said, but is also acting “locally” where it makes sense. This ketchup was reformulated using only Canadian-grown tomatoes and now outsells national brands in Walmart Canada.
Walmart recently replaced round salad containers with black bottoms with these clear rectangular containers, VP of private brands Marty Asarte said. The change not only improved experience for customers (fewer spills, greater ingredient visibility) but the shape allowed the company to fit more salads in refrigerated displays, reducing the need to restock from four to five times daily to two to three times. “That’s a massive improvement,” he said.
Walmart changed processes to assemble deli sandwiches like this sub twice as fast as it used to, now shipping all its components in packages that result in four sandwiches with no waste and easy assembly, including pre-sliced bread and pickles from jars, not bags.
SVP of packaged goods Megan Crozier with Oreo O’s cereal, a discontinued brand that manufacturer Post is re-releasing for the first time since 2005 exclusively at Walmart. Crozier said Walmart officials encouraged the re-release, citing a trend for indulgent breakfasts and social-media buzz among nostalgic Millennials.
Another dead brand coming to life again for a limited time in Walmart stores this summer is Zima, Miller Coors’ clear beer-like beverage last seen in stores 11 years ago. Al Dominguez, SVP of snack, beverage, candy and impulse at Walmart, expects to sell a few Jolly Rancher candies along with Zima, citing drinkers who drop a candy like lime slices in a Corona.
Walmart has expanded its Great Value ice cream to 49 flavors including whimsical creations like Hashtag Chocolate, Toffee Philosophyn and Down by the Sea Salt Caramel.
Coffees from Walmart’s premium private label tier, Sam’s Choice, show off packaging.