Walmart, Great Value & the Healthy Seal – Coming 2012

Bentonville, Arkansas based big box behemoth Walmart is set to launch its new front-of-pack ‘healthy seal’ on Private Brand products in Spring 2012. The seal was first put on hold back in January, and was originally scheduled to appear on the front of qualifying Walmart Private Brand products later this year as a way to simplify the shopping experience and easily signal to customers products which are healthier choices.

While the timetable has changed, however, Walmart remains committed to launching it, media relation’s director Lorenzo Lopez commented said, “We are working on the nutrition criteria and finalizing our efforts around the healthier food seal. We anticipate that the seal will be available around the spring of 2012. In the meantime, we’re been working on the reformulation of Great Value products, such as a 15% reduction of sodium in Great Value Ketchup”.

Walmart has not yet released details about the science underpinning the seal, or confirmed whether the nutrition criteria will be category-specific or universally applied. Despite the former vice president of Private Brands and current senior vice-president of sustainability for Walmart, Andrea Thomas, said in January that the seal would be developed “in consultation with health organizations to help customers identify healthier food for their families.

She went on to say, “The seal will be supported by a nutritious food standard designed to increase vitamins, minerals, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables in food products, while limiting saturated fats, sodium and added sugars”.

It remains to be seen how this will compare to the other major programs, which have been launched over the last few years, Guiding Stars from Delhaize, the Nutrition Keys from FMI/GMA or NuVal from Topco.



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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.