Walmart has launched an initiative with the goal of spotlighting some of the country’s favorite snack brands by giving locally produced and regional favorites prominent placement at 130-plus stores in 19 states.
According to a survey from Walmart, more than 85% of Walmart customers believe that it’s important for retailers to carry goods made in the United States. Following on from this finding, Walmart has launched an initiative with the goal of spotlighting some of the country’s favorite snack brands by giving locally produced and regional favorites prominent placement at 130-plus stores in 19 states. At those participating stores, local brands will now be the first items customers see when they enter the snack aisle.
The initiative encompasses more than 35 regional chip brands across the United States, with plans to expand to even more local brands in the future. Walmart’s aim is to strengthen communities and support local and regional brands, as well as the jobs they create in this country. According to the retailer, its efforts have already met with success: In Pennsylvania, for example, local favorite Ralph Good Inc., the Adamstown-based maker of Good’s Potato Chips, experienced nearly double-digit growth at Walmart after its snack products were moved to the front. Other examples of featured products include El Ranchero in Illinois, Taco Works in California and Juanita’s in Oregon.
The initiative began in July 2023, and there are currently no plans for an end date, a company spokesman told Progressive Grocer.
Walmart isn’t the only retailer to celebrate local products. Founded in 1956, Canadian grocer Longo’s touts its long history of sourcing meat and produce from area farmers, as well as cheese from its home province of Ontario. “Supporting local suppliers is not only a matter of values, but also an investment in our economy, farmers and the environment,” Longo’s President Deb Craven told Progressive Grocer.
Then there’s Lone Star State grocer H-E-B, which celebrated the closure of its annual Quest for Texas Best competition by gifting five small local businesses a total of $85,000 and placement on its shelves. In honor of the 10th anniversary of the statewide competition, the grocer also gave a $10,000 check to each of the top 10 finalists. The grand-prize winner this year was Instant Pho by PhoLicious, based in Houston, which received $25,000 and one year of free groceries from H-E-B, while Farmstead Salad Dressing from Verdegreens in Houston was the first-prize winner, earning a $20,000 prize. There are, of course, many more examples.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites around the world. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named it one of its Retailers of the Century. Longo’s is a family-operated organization that operates almost 40 stores in communities across the greater Toronto area. Its parent company, Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based Empire Co. Ltd., is No. 19 on PG’s list. The largest privately held employer in Texas, San Antonio-based H-E-B, with more than 420 stores and 145,000 employees in Texas and Mexico, is No. 15 on The PG 100.