A Supermarket News story last week reported that Walmart is making a significant effort to increase the company's emphasis on fresh products in its stores. For instance, a Walmart official said they are improving product quality and variety in the bakery section, where they have brought in new products and better quality recipes.
"Bakery is a bigger piece now than it's been in the past," said Shawn Baldwin, Walmart's SVP of Fresh.
According to Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran, customers want more fresh items at low prices.
"The key to that is produce, because that unlocks the rest of the grocery basket," said Foran. "If you have a good produce department they generally will buy all their groceries from you."
The emphasis on freshness also includes product presentation. Baldwin said that in new Neighborhood Market stores, customers can see back to the deli upon entering the store. In addition, in a new Supercenter in Arkansas, Walmart is testing a 12-foot counter showing fresh steaks.