First Lady Michelle Obama Celebrates Walmart's Progress on Making Food
Healthier and More Affordable
Company saves customers $2.3 billion on fresh fruits and vegetables; opens 86
stores serving food deserts; and makes it easier to identify more than 1,300
healthier food options
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 28, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- First Lady Michelle Obama
visited a Walmart store in Springfield, Mo., today to celebrate the retailer's
progress in making food healthier, more affordable and available to consumers
across the country.
During the first two years of Walmart's healthier food initiative, the company
helped make it easier for customers to create healthier diets and, ultimately,
live healthier lives by:
osaving customers $2.3 billion on fresh fruits and vegetables;
odeveloping and launching a front-of-package icon which will appear on more
than 1,300 Walmart Great Value and Marketside items as well as fresh and
packaged fruits and vegetables;
oreducing salt and sugars in its private brand and national food brands;
oopening 86 stores serving neighborhoods without access to fresh,
"We are proud of the work we have done in the last two years to make it easier
and more affordable for our customers to buy healthier food, and we know there
is more work to do," said Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate
affairs at Walmart. "We applaud First Lady Michelle Obama's continued
leadership. Her passion is encouraging companies and organizations, like
Walmart, to make continued progress that positively affects the health and
wellness of the communities we serve."
"For years, the conventional wisdom said that healthy products simply didn't
sell – that the demand wasn't there, that higher profits were found elsewhere,
so it just wasn't worth the investment. Thanks to Walmart and so many other
great American businesses, we are proving the conventional wisdom wrong," said
First Lady Michelle Obama. "Every day, with their success, these companies are
showing us that what's good for kids and good for family budgets can also be
good for business."
Walmart's progress on its healthier food commitment:
Commitment: Improve the nutritional quality of Walmart's Great Value brand and
national food brands by reducing sodium by 25 percent, added sugars by 10
percent and removing all industrially produced trans fats by the end of 2015.
oReduced sugars by more than 10 percent across targeted categories,
including dairy, sauces and fruit drinks. For example, in the yogurt
category, added sugars declined by more than 12 percent through a
combination of reduced added sugars in existing products and the
introduction of new, lower sugar options. The 12 percent reduction is
equivalent to 6.9 million pounds of sugar, or 155 tractor trailer loads,
in this one category.
oReduced sodium by 9 percent across targeted categories of grocery items,
including grain products, luncheon meats, salad dressings and frozen
entrees. Walmart, partnering with its suppliers, has decreased sodium in
the commercial bread category (products in the bread aisle) by 13 percent
- eliminating more than 1.5 million pounds of salt from the diets of
Walmart shoppers, or 35 tractor trailer loads. According to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention dietary data, bread is the number one
source of sodium in the American diet.
oThe number of products containing industrially produced trans fats fell
by 50 percent. Less than 10 percent of food and beverages sold at Walmart
in 2011 contained industrially produced trans fats.
Commitment: Create a front-of-package icon to help consumers easily and
quickly identify healthier food options, such as whole grain cereal, whole
wheat pasta, lean cuts of meat and low-fat milk.
oUnveiled Walmart's "Great For You" icon which will appear on more than
1,300 Great Value and Marketside food and beverages in Walmart U.S.
oEvaluated more than 4,000 private brand products against the "Great For
You" nutrition criteria with about 32 percent of fresh produce, meat and
packaged items receiving the icon. The icon will soon be available to
participating national brand products that meet the "Great For You"
criteria and qualify for the icon.
oDeveloped rigorous nutrition criteria to back the "Great For You" icon
informed by the latest nutrition science and authoritative guidance from
the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Institute
of Medicine (IOM).
Commitment: Save customers at least $1 billion a year on healthier food,
including reduced prices on produce and parity pricing on "Great For You"
oWalmart customers saved $1.2 billion on fresh fruits and vegetables in
oCombined with the $1.1 billion in savings in 2011, customers have saved
$2.3 billion during the first two years of the program.
Commitment: Increase Americans' access to fresh, healthier and affordable food
by opening between 275 and 300 new stores in urban and rural food deserts by
the end of 2016.
oOpened 86 new stores serving food deserts since 2011. These stores serve
customers in both urban and rural areas including Atlanta; Durham, N.C.;
and Springfield, Mo.
oMore than 264,000 people now have more options for fresh, healthier
groceries as a result of the 86 new stores serving food deserts.
oThe company projects 800,000 people will have more options for healthier
food when Walmart opens all 275-300 stores in food deserts.
Commitment: Help all Americans better understand nutrition and healthier
eating options by increasing charitable support for nutrition programs.
oIn 2012, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provided more than $13 million
in grants to innovative programs across the United States that support
nutrition education, cooking skills and healthy eating.
oSince 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have provided more than $26
million in grants to nutrition education.
oFor example, a grant was awarded to Alliance for a Healthier
Generation to increase nutrition education for 60,000 school-age
children in six communities across the nation.
oOther organizations receiving grants include Institute for America's
Health, National 4-H Council and Common Threads.
"At Walmart, we want to make healthier eating simple and easy," said Andrea
Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. "One of the ways
we are doing this is by helping families quickly identify healthier food
options and taking added sugar, salt and trans fats out of the everyday food
customers buy, while keeping the great taste they expect."
First Lady Michelle Obama was joined by local Springfield mom and teacher
Stephanie Kennedy who since adopting her grandchildren realized she needed to
make a change. During the last two years, she lost 70 pounds by eating
healthier and is now trying to teach her students and grandchildren about the
importance of eating healthy.
"As a mom of two young children, I shop for groceries on a tight budget," said
Kennedy. "If there's a choice I can make that's both less expensive and more
nutritious, that's a win for me and my family. It was an honor to share today
with the First Lady– she inspired me to continue to make better choices for my
family. It's not every day you get to share your grocery list with the First
Tours like the one the First Lady participated in are part of the "Shopping
Matters" and "Cooking Matters" programs that the Walmart Foundation funds
through its partner, Share Our Strength. The tours, available in select
Walmart stores across the country, feature teachers and chefs helping
low-income shoppers better understand how to maximize limited budgets and
still find healthier food options.
For more information visit: http://corporate.walmart.com/nutrition
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200
million times per week at more than 10,700 retail units under 69 different
banners in 27 countries. With fiscal year 2013 sales of approximately $466
billion, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates worldwide. Walmart
continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and
employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by
visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at
http://facebook.com/walmartand on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/walmartnewsroom. Online merchandise sales are available at
Contact: CONTACT: Kory Lundberg, 1-800-331-0085, news.walmart.com/reporter
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