CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

Why Walmart Grocery Sales Are at Risk

Walmart has reportedly found that customers who buy appetite-suppressing medications like the diabetes drug Ozempic are buying less food.

The retailer is analyzing anonymized data on shopper populations to gain insights into changes in sales patterns among individuals who are taking the drug compared to those who are not, Bloomberg reported Wednesday (Oct. 4).

“We definitely do see a slight change compared to the total population, we do see a slight pullback in overall basket,” John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., told the media outlet.

Walmart sells GLP-1 drugs, such as Ozempic, through its pharmacies, and the company has reported a significant revenue boost from the sales of these medications, according to the report. Industrywide, sales of those drugs have tripled since 2020.

The increasing popularity of drugs like Ozempic has led to discussions among CEOs and investors about their potential impact on the economy, the report said. For example, Kellanova CEO Steve Cahillane, whose company makes Pringles and Cheez-Its, said the firm is studying the impact of these medications on consumers’ buying behaviors, just as they would with any other trend that affects the business.

Rite Aid reported in June that the demand for Ozempic and other GLP-1 medications prescribed for managing Type 2 diabetes and addressing obesity had fueled a 3.4% year-over-year gain in its pharmacy sales.

The FDA has authorized the use of Ozempic, Rybelsus and Mounjaro for treating Type 2 diabetes, while Wegovy has gained approval for individuals who are obese and for those who have excessive weight accompanied by weight-related medical conditions.

Just as Walmart used anonymized data from its shopper population to uncover this trend, other firms are making use of the data they collect.

For example, restaurant customer experience platform Tattle announced in July that it has launched a receipt-scanning feature that enables eateries to improve their analytics by harnessing item-level data.

PYMNTS Intelligence has found that receipt data utilization is justifiably drawing attention as it has been proven to lead to more personalized rewards and stickier customer relationships. With the proper modernization tools, organizations may benefit from smart use of this information, according to “Meeting the Need for Item-Level Receipt Data,” a PYMNTS and Banyan collaboration.