Most news outlets caught the announcement that Walmart was unwinding its deal with organic food firm Wild Oats after just a few years.
But, as it turns out, the cutting room floor was busier than initially reported over at Walmart this week, since Big Blue is also purging a very different food brand from its shelves: Price First.
Described as an “ultra-basic, low-cost, in-house label” with extremely no-frills blue packaging, humble Price First and its phaseout didn’t quite catch the same mainstream headlines that Wild Oats did. Mostly, it was trade publications dedicated to the wild world of grocery that mourned the passing of Price First.
So, why cut the products that appeal to the ends of its customer base: the high-end organic lover and the price-conscious, no-frills value shopper?
Well, when both hit the market two or so years ago, Walmart was playing against two distinct competitors: Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. And while the Wild Oats move came as a surprise and even elicited some pretty sharp criticisms for being shortsighted, almost no one seems sad to see Price First ride off into the sunset.
“It’s just kind of depressing to look at,” Christopher Durham, a brands expert who reported on Price First on his blog, said at the time of its release. “I don’t believe you have to be insulting to consumers to sell a product.”
I guess the insult is finally being withdrawn.