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Jan 31, 2011

Walmart Plans To Dish Up Healthier Foods

Walmart plans to lower prices of healthy foods and cut salt, sugar and “trans” fats.

Walmart wants to make it easier for us to fill out plates with nutritious foods. The company, which sells more groceries than any other company in the United States, just announced plans to cut unneeded salt and sugar out of processed foods. Walmart will also stop adding unhealthy fats known as “trans” fats, and cut prices on fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods.

The new plan includes the following five steps:

  • Come up with new recipes for thousands of foods packaged under Walmart’s Great Value label. Over the next four years, the company plans to reduce salt by 25 percent in lunch meats, salad dressings, frozen dinners and bread, cereal and other grain products. Walmart will also reduce added sugars by 10 percent in dairy foods, sauces and fruit drinks. And the company will stop adding “trans fats” to packaged foods. These fats are unhealthy to eat because they raise cholesterol levels in the blood. Walmart will work with other large food companies to make similar changes in their recipes.
  • Make healthy foods less expensive. Walmart estimates it can save customers $1 billion a year on fresh fruits and vegetables. The company plans to do this by getting farmers and other food suppliers to cut costs. Walmart will also stop charging extra for foods that are made from low-salt, low-sugar and low-fat recipes.
  • Develop a “healthy foods” seal for food packages. This seal will identify a smaller number of foods that especially nutritious. It will help shoppers identify truly healthy foods such as whole grain cereal, whole wheat pasta and unsweetened canned fruit.
  • Build grocery stores in places that need them. In deciding where to build new grocery stores, Walmart will look for city neighborhoods and rural areas where people don’t already have fresh and affordable groceries nearby.
  • Increase donations to charity. Walmart plans to increase the donations it already makes to food banks, plus it will give money for programs that educate people about good nutrition. 

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