Michelle Obama’s fight against obesity led retail giant Walmart to shift its marketing strategy to a more desired direction: healthier foods. According to The New York Times, the retailer will announce a five-year plan on Thursday to make some of its packaged foods lower in unhealthy salts, fats and sugars, and to drop prices on fruits and vegetables.
To make sure that there were no misunderstandings, Leslie Dach, Wal-Mart’s executive vice president for corporate affairs answered an obvious question before even being asked: “This is not about asking the farmers to accept less for their crops,” and stated that Walmart will be cutting into its own profits but hopes to make up for it in sales volume.
Walmart will press its major food suppliers to follow its lead. For instance, they are confident that Kraft, which apparently delivers 16% of its global sales through Walmart, will also reduce salts, fats and sugars in its line of products.
So far, everything rosy. What puzzles is that Walmart decided to implement this change slowly, over a period of five years. The main reason is obvious: healthier food costs more, and since Walmart decided not to increase prices, but to lower them, they expect some “financial hurdles.” But the company gave a second reason, which is indicative of what they think about their consumers. Apparently, people have to get used to the taste of healthier food… because “It doesn’t do you any good to have healthy food if people don’t eat it.”
I am sure our readers are intelligent enough to understand what’s wrong with the statement above, for those who don’t, here’s the scoop. Walmart believes that their consumers would rather buy food that makes them sick, than choose healthy foods. I am sure many customers go to a store and pick a cheaper product instead of, let’s say, organic veg, because they are trying to save some money. And I bet that, if given the choice at a decent price, people would rather buy healthy foods.