Fin24

Walmart pledges to sell healthier foods

2011-01-20 18:21

Washington - Retail giant Wal-Mart will reformulate thousands of products to make them healthier and push its suppliers to do the same.

First lady Michelle Obama, who has urged companies to make foods healthier through her campaign to combat childhood obesity, joined the company in Washington on Thursday for the announcement.

Wal-Mart plans to reduce sodium and added sugars in some items, build stores in poor areas that do not already have grocery stores, reduce prices on produce and develop a logo for healthier items.

As the largest grocer in the US, Wal-Mart's size gives it unique power to shape what people eat. It also has massive influence on products made by other manufacturers and sold at their stores.

Walmart has bid for 51% of South Africa's Massmart. The R17bn deal was given the nod earlier this week by Massmart shareholders.