Walmart Ditching Wild Oats Organic Brand After 2 Years

Image courtesy of Ben Schumin

Two years ago, Walmart announced that it would sell inexpensive organic food to a mass market under the Wild Oats brand, at lower prices than national brands of certified organic products. After just about 2 years, Walmart is ending its Wild Oats experiment, deciding instead to begin selling organic items under its own house brand, Great Value, and also sell more fresh produce.

The Wild Oats brand may be familiar to some shoppers, but it had a complicated journey to Walmart’s shelves. It was a pioneering health food grocer, which Whole Foods acquired in 2007 and was forced to sell in 2009. Wild Oats has since worked with Pathmark, Walmart, and Fresh & Easy to release lines of organic products.

Organic products are still a fast-growing segment of the market, and experts told the Wall Street Journal that the chain simply didn’t highlight their new brand, or do anything to differentiate organic products on the shelves.

That will change soon: when you see purple sections of a shelf at a Walmart store, that means that the shelf contains organic food. The retailer plans to begin selling inexpensive organic food under its own label, as well as stocking more organic produce and other fresh items.

Wal-Mart to Drop Wild Oats Organic Food Brand [Wall Street Journal]