Can Wal-Mart Make Organic Food Cheap for Everyone?

by

The following is portion of an article from NPR:

by Dan Charles

It could be another milestone in organic food's evolution from crunchy to commercial: Wal-Mart, the king of mass retailing, is promising to “drive down organic food prices” with a new line of organic food products. The new products will be at least 25 percent cheaper than organic food that's on Wal-Mart's shelves right now.

Yet we've heard this before. Back in 2006, Wal-Mart made a similar announcement, asking some of its big suppliers to deliver organic versions of popular food items like mac-and-cheese. A Wal-Mart executive said at the time that it hoped these organic products would cost only 10 percent more than the conventional alternative.

Wal-Mart has, in fact, become a big player in organic food, with some remarkable cost-cutting successes. At the new Wal-Mart just a few blocks from NPR's headquarters, I found some organic grape tomatoes on sale for exactly the same price as conventional ones. Organic “spring mix” salad was just 9 percent more expensive than the conventional package.

Outside the fresh produce section, though, organic products were hard to find, and those I did spy were significantly more expensive. Organic diced tomatoes were 44 percent higher. The premium for a half-gallon of organic milk was a whopping 85 percent.

Now Wal-Mart is bringing in a new company, WildOats, to deliver a whole range of additional organic products, from pasta sauce to cookies, and do it more cheaply.

I asked the CEO of WildOats, Tom Casey, how he plans to do it. His answer, in a nutshell: Bigger can be better.

CLICK HERE to read the remainder of this article.

Source:  NPR

Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp

 

 


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