I was just recently reminded of an article that appeared in The Atlantic about Walmart and its efforts to bring more locally grown produce into some of its stores. It’s a fascinating read that culminates in a blind taste test between identical chef-created entrées made with Walmart products and Whole Foods products.
The testers were food bloggers and critics and general “foodie” types. Surprisingly enough, a significant number of the dishes prepared with the Walmart products won the critics over hands down (not to mention the cost of the Walmart bill was about half of the bill at Whole Foods).
The article was brought to my attention as I was listening to an NPR Talk of the Nation segment about Walmart and its reputation. The question was whether consumers who wouldn’t have stepped foot in the store (me), were now reconsidering given the economy and Walmart’s efforts to support local farmers and offer more choices including organic and conventional products.
I encourage you to read the article and listen to the broadcast. It is quite fascinating to hear a number of callers now “coming around” for whatever reason to shop at their local Walmart (me again). Like them or not, Walmart is tapping into the individual needs of the communities in which they operate by working with local producers and offering choices that used to only be available to certain segments of the population.