Fresh thinking at Walmart: A multicultural twist
As Walmart steps up its commitment to source seasonal local produce, we’re also changing what’s on our grocery shelves to appeal to our changing customer base.
On the food front, Walmart is going local with a twist. Whenever possible, we’re sourcing locally grown Canadian produce in every province across the country. The amount we can source varies through the year – reaching a seasonal peak of around 50 per cent by summer when vegetables, soft fruit and berries are at their prime. And we’re equally committed to provide locally grown for our meat and deli products – sourced fresh from Canadian farms.
We’re connected to local producers right across Canada through organizations including: Foodland Ontario, the Ontario Produce Manufacturers Association, B.C. Grown, B.C. Tree Fruits, and Aliments Québec.
Organic and Direct Strategies
Walmart is also ramping up its organic produce selection with a mandate to provide staple organic items at everyday low prices – for example, bananas or berries in season.
Internationally, we’re leveraging our USA & ASDA global sourcing to buy directly from growers for up to 80 per cent of our non-domestic inventory. By streamlining the supply chain process, we can save as much as 12 to 20 per cent versus the market on items like South African citrus, Chilean grapes and Washington cherries – and we pass those savings on to our customers.
Spicing up our grocery shelves
The latest twist is the remarkable diversity of produce and dry goods now finding their way to Walmart’s grocery shelves: picked to suit the exotic palates of new Canadian or second generation customers originating from countries as diverse as China, India and Sri Lanka. Depending on where you are in the country, customers can find everything from bok choy to Japanese eggplants, bitter melons, curry sauces and more.
This multicultural spin on local retail is the work of Walmart’s Store of the Community (SOTC): a specialized team of merchants and analysts that focuses on the needs of customers to ensure we have the right merchandise mix in individual stores or clusters of stores. The SOTC program began five years ago with a focus on the growing Asian and South Asian populations in Canada and has since expanded to include other ethnicities.