Says Clare O’Connor at Forbes:
“Starting this month, the big box giant aims to drive down the price of organic food nationwide with its new in-house line of 100 or so products in exclusive partnership with Wild Oats, a pioneering health brand of the 1980s.
Walmart’s new Wild Oats organic products — including kitchen cupboard staples like olive oil and black beans — will cost about 25 percent less than those sold by competitors, based on price comparisons of 26 national brands.”
By the way, Tim Worstall, also from Forbes, also discussing Walmart’s move , says:
“There’s no difference in the nutritional quality [of organic] as opposed to conventionally farmed.”
As you know, that’s not true. Just one example: my previous post describes a study that found alpha-tomatine, a naturally-occurring compound which fends off sarcopenia or muscle wasting, “is higher in organically grown tomatoes compared to conventionally grown tomatoes.”
This was interesting, from Reuters:
“Organic foods accounted for roughly 4 percent of total U.S. food sales in 2012.”
That’s not much, and it all but completely excludes the low-income sector: “Organic foods often cost more than their conventional rivals, and that has limited purchases by the legions of lower-income U.S. shoppers.”
This move by Walmart will increase access to organics. If it ends up increasing demand, that would have several outcomes (at least on food), some desirable, some not so. It could erode the way organic food is currently produced (however, that is regulated by the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board) or it could put pressure on conventional agriculture to employ more organic and sustainable methods. I think both will happen.