Wal-Mart is Going Organic

The nation's largest grocery retailer has decided to go organic. The New York Times reported today that starting this summer, Wal-Mart will be stocking its supermarket shelves with a lot more organic food. The company believes that by offering organic choices, it will "help modernize its image and broaden its appeal to urban and other upscale consumers." Wal-Mart's new interest is expected to "change organic food production in substantial ways." Food industry experts are saying that Wal-Mart could possibly become the nation's largest seller of organic products, surpassing Whole Foods, because of two reasons: its 2,000 supercenters and its lower prices. Already, Wal-Mart is the largest seller in organic milk (who knew?). We posted back in January about how Whole Foods costs more than Wal-Mart and we sure did get a ton of comments. Like many of you, we wonder about how the quality of the organic products that Wal-Mart plans to sell. But Kellogg, Kraft, General Mills and Pepsi are all hard at work developing organic lines of their most popular products (like Raisin Bran, Cheerios, Green Giant vegetables and Tropicana) that will make their debut first in Wal-Mart stores and then to other national retailers. Ronnie Cummins, director of the Organic Consumers Association, says that Wal-Mart is going to wreck organic the way it's wrecking other retail stores. He feels they might start outsourcing from overseas and China to cut costs but Bruce Peterson, head of perishable foods for Wal-Mart says they can offer lower prices because of the company's enormous volume and by having efficient distribution and inventory systems. At least they don't have plans to develop a private label organic line. Ick. Via (and photos) ::New York Times

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