(Natural Society) Could it be that the big box giant Walmart heard the massive consumer plea for more organic food? The store just published an announcement stating that it will offer packaged organic foods at the same or comparable prices as non-organic foods as an attempt to undercut pricing from its competitors.
This seems to be good news for the consumer, considering that many people have often claimed they can’t afford eat organic since it can be more expensive than eating non-organic foods (unless of course you grow them yourself.) Dr. Oz even once said that ‘organic is great, it’s just not very democratic,” insinuating that most people can’t afford organic truffle oil or organic quinoa. Eating organic isn’t just for snobs, though, or foodies. It is a vital step in taking back our health and living a longer life.
“There will be no premium for the customer to purchase organic products,” said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of grocery at Wal-Mart U.S. “They will be able to purchase organic at non-organic prices.”
So how will Walmart provide organic to the medium and lower income families instead of just to ‘yuppies’ living in the upper echelons of society? They will partner with a chain of health-oriented grocery stores called Wild Oats – the rival to Whole Foods who bought them out in 2007. Whole Foods sold the name rights in 2010, and now the company produces organic spices, broths, and sauces. Consumers can expect to pay about 25 percent less for similar organic brands for the same items. For a comparison, Wild Oats organic chicken broth will cost around $1.98, whereas a comparable organic brand, Swanson’s, costs $2.88.
Sadly, for now this will only include packaged foods, and not produce or dairy. Nonetheless, it proves that organic business is booming, and should help to squeeze out any lingering hope that Monsanto and their buddies had of controlling the agricultural scene. Consumers are demanding healthful foods, and so they are getting them.
Numbers for previously falling organic food sales look promising. “Early indications show positive growth in the organic market in 2013, after around four years of decline – showing strong appetite among consumers for the environmental, animal welfare and health benefits of organic produce,” said Bob Sexton, chief executive of certification at the Soil Association.The market is expected to continue this growth trend through 2020, repeating 10 to 12 percent growth year over year.
According to Nutrition Business Journal, it isn’t just Whole Foods who will bring people organic food in years to come.
Specialty retailers now account for only 44% of U.S. organic food sales, while mass-market retailers such as grocery stores, convenience stores, and discount chains, including WalMart and Cost-Co, accounting for 46%. For those who won’t even walk into a Whole Foods for fear of being bilked on inflated ‘health-food’ prices, this could help set a trend for more affordable food that doesn’t cause obesity, heart failure, cancer, and other diseases.
Walmart’s switch is definitely inspired by consumer demand.
“Our customers have been asking for this,” said one researcher. According to a WalMart survey, 91% of the company’s customers would buy more organic products if the price were lower. Walmart currently only carries 1600 organic products – which is hardly anything for such a huge store. Hopefully this initial change to include organic packaged foods will also prove successful and the chain will start carrying organic produce in the near future, too.
“There’s no doubt that organic food is becoming more popular for our customers, and they’re buying more of the organic food that we do have,” Sinclair said. “If we can make that price premium disappear, we think it will grow much, much faster.”
Let’s just hope that organic stays organic, and producers of this high-quality food don’t suffer in the name of big business.