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Walmart Debuts ‘bettergoods’ in Massive Private Label Expansion

Walmart bettergoods products

Walmart is expanding its private-label offerings with the debut of “chef-inspired” food brand bettergoods.

Announced Tuesday (April 30), bettergoods represents Walmart’s largest private-brand food rollout in two decades, the company said in a news release. It’s happening as a number of other retailers delve deeper into the world of private-label goods.

“Today’s customers expect more from the private brands they purchase — they want affordable, quality products to elevate their overall food experience,” Scott Morris, Walmart’s senior vice president for private brands, food and consumables, said in the release. “The launch of bettergoods delivers on that customer need in a meaningful way.”

The products fall into three categories. In addition to plant-based foods and products from the “Made Without” category — for people who are gluten free, or want to avoid artificial flavors — Walmart is also offering products under the umbrella of “Culinary Experiences.”

These, the retailer said, “spotlight innovative recipes, elevated ingredients and food-trend forward offerings, including specialty salts and seasonings.”

The launch comes weeks after reports that Walmart was offering some higher-end products as it courts the wealthier shoppers who have been visiting its stores.

As PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster wrote soon after, the idea of a more upscale Walmart — or as she called it, “Walmarche,” similar to the way Target shoppers call that store “Tarjay” — is “on the surface … not totally a crazy idea.”

After all, consumers on all income levels are spending less and trading down to manage inflation-driven higher prices. Still, she argued it might be an uphill battle for Walmart to convince high earners they’ll find the brands they want at its stores.

“It’s not clear that Carbone pasta sauce and knock-off navy blazers will be enough to change high-earner shopping habits — especially when most of the product mix and shopper profile inside of a Walmart store remains largely the same,” wrote Webster. “And when many high-income shoppers make such purchases online for the convenience of not having to walk inside of a physical store.”

A number of other retailers have also expanded their private label collections recently. For example, Target in February announced it was reformulating 40% of the products in its popular Up&Up brand and adding hundreds more.

At the same time, there is some evidence that consumers might be shying away from these products. Consumer packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble said earlier this month that its earnings show its customers remaining loyal to name brands.

“Private label shares, value shares, are actually very stable — 16.4% [in the] past 1 month and 16.4% [in the] past 12 months,” CFO Andre Schulten said during an earnings call. “So, consumers are not trading down within the U.S. towards private labels.”

“If anything,” he added, shoppers “continue to trade up,” for example shifting from liquid detergents to pods.

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