Today we were honored to have First Lady Michelle Obama visit one of our Walmart stores to celebrate our progress on making food healthier and more affordable for families nationwide.
Two years ago we made a healthier food commitment that was informed by the First Lady’s work with Let’s Move!. She has provided the important tools necessary for lasting improvements for the health and wellness of our country – especially its future generations.
Today was such a great event for me, and for the Springfield-area moms and dads who shared in the experience. We took a tour of the Walmart Neighborhood Market with Mrs. Obama, and it was so interesting to hear from parents about the everyday need they have for healthier food for their families.
As a busy mom, I understand how challenging it can be to keep your family on track when it comes to healthier food options. We’re all juggling work, school and activities while attempting to shop for groceries on a budget and make time to plan and prepare meals.
That’s why Walmart is committed to helping our customers build healthier lifestyles for their families. We’ve heard directly from our shoppers that they want nutritious food choices and the information necessary to make those selections while they’re shopping.
From reducing the added sodium and sugars in the food we sell, to creating a label that makes it easy to spot healthier choices, to saving our customers money on fresh fruit and vegetables, to opening more stores in the communities that need it most, we are dedicated to making grocery shopping simpler and more affordable.
And we have already made serious headway – check out the latest numbers:
- We promised to reduce sodium by 25 percent by 2015 and are well on our way to meeting that goal. In the first two years, we’ve reduced the sodium in foods by 9 percent across categories like canned vegetables, luncheon meats and salad dressings.
- We’re working with our suppliers on making the food we sell healthier. We’ve since reduced added sugars by more than 10 percent in more than 6,000 foods and beverages. In the yogurt category, added sugars have decline by more than 12 percent.
- In the first two years of our healthier food program, Walmart has saved customers more than $2.3 billion on fresh fruit and vegetables, and has opened 86 stores serving neighborhoods that didn’t have access to nutritious produce.
For more than two years, Walmart worked closely with nutrition experts to develop strict criteria guided by the latest science and authoritative guidance. Then we tested that criteria on more than 4,000 food items and beverages across every grocery category to make sure it would work in the real world.
Simply put, for a food to be considered “Great for You,” it must contain a certain amount of healthy ingredients, and no more than a certain amount of trans fats, saturated fats, sodium and added sugars.
The icon is on fresh, frozen and canned fruit and veggies, on milk and whole-wheat breads and brown rice, on nuts and seeds, and on lean meats. More than 1,300 Walmart Great Value and Marketside items, as well as fresh and packaged fruit and vegetables have the icon.
This means that moms like us are now finding it easier to spot the better-for-you choice and fill the shopping cart with more food that is truly great for our families. And when the healthier choice is also the more affordable one, it is a huge win for parents everywhere.
On this three-year anniversary of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! program, we commend the First Lady’s passion and engagement that has encouraged companies and organizations, like Walmart, to make commitments that positively impact the health and wellness of the communities we serve.
We look forward to advancing our commitment to expanded access to healthier and affordable food options over the coming years. Continue checking back for updates – we appreciate your support on this journey.