Walmart wants to make their food healthier and more affordable

(FOX19) - Across the country, Walmart is launching a major initiative to make food healthier and more affordable for customers.

Walmart is reformulating key product categories of its Great Value private brand and plans to collaborate with suppliers to reformulate national brands within the same categories by 2015.

The company was joined last month by First Lady Michelle Obama as it outlined the five key elements of the program in Washington DC.

This program builds on First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign to make healthy choices more convenient and affordable for families and is consistent with Walmart's commitment to lead on social issues that matter to its customers

The effort is designed to help reduce the consumption of sodium, sugar and trans fats, which are major contributors to the epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases in America today, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

"No family should have to choose between food that is healthier for them and food they can afford," said Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. "With more than 140 million customer visits each week, Walmart is uniquely positioned to make a difference by making food healthier and more affordable to everyone. We are committed to working with suppliers, government and non-governmental organizations to provide solutions that help Americans eat healthier and live a better life."

Walmart's everyday low price business model will help make healthier food more affordable. The company will take a number of steps to provide customers even more savings on fresh produce through a variety of sourcing, pricing, and transportation and logistics initiatives that will drive efficiencies throughout the supply chain and further reduce unnecessary costs. For example, one initiative will establish more direct relationships with farmers, which typically result in additional income for farmers and lower and more consistent prices for customers.

"If we are successful in our efforts to lower prices, we believe we can save Americans who shop at Walmart approximately $1 billion per year on fresh fruit and vegetables," Thomas said.

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