Wal-Mart is entering the organic groceries business in a partnership with Wild Oats that will offer its customers organic goods at 25 percent less than national marketed brands.
"We're removing the premium associated with organic groceries," said Jack Sinclair, executive vice president of Wal-Mart's United States grocery division.
The organic line will include such staples as pasta and sauces and will begin appearing in Wal-Mart stores this month, Sinclair said in a Tuesday conference call with journalists.
Wal-Mart is the largest grocer in the United States.
"We're using our scale to deliver organic groceries to our customers at this price," Sinclair said, calling the move a win for customers, the Wal-Mart supply base and the business success of Wal-Mart.
Tom Casey, chief executive officer at Wild Oats marketing, said that his company is on a mission to allow customers to access affordable organic products.
"Very simply, people want to know what's in the food they're eating," he said.
Initially the organic foods project will not include produce or dairy. The organic products will first appear in about 2,000 Wal-Mart stores nationally, eventually spreading to all 4,000.
The products will also be available at Walmart.com later this summer.
As an example, Sinclair cited a 24-ounce package of organic cinnamon apple-sauce cups. The Walmart/Wild Oats price would be $1.98, compared with $2.78 for a regular nationally marketed organic brand.