One of the largest developments for the beef industry in 2018 was the announcement that Walmart has forged a business relationship with 44 Farms and will be soon featuring branded-program products in their stores. Because of Walmart’s scale, that’s a major undertaking to ensure that the supply chain can deliver products on a consistent, regular and timely basis to the store network.
The newly-forged relationship is part of a broader strategy for Walmart around fresh grocery items. That is, Walmart, like many other retailers, understands that overall sales and customer loyalty largely revolves around the customer experience associated with meat and produce.
That perspective was prevalent in Walmart’s 2018 annual report. For example, President and CEO Doug McMillon noted that, “We’ve also implemented leading technologies in our stores and supply chain to promote the highest freshness, quality and safety in the food we sell. …”
In other words, food will be a primary focus to help drive overall sales and store yield. And clearly, beef is a significant driver within that strategy.
Why is that important? This week’s illustration highlights annual sales for Walmart U.S. stores during the past 10 years. More important, the graph also depicts annual year-over-year growth.
The five-year average stands right at 3%. Accordingly, Walmart is seemingly refocusing energy and capital to boost revenue growth above that trendline. The company perceives food as an important component to make that occur.
What’s your perception of Walmart’s renewed focus on fresh in the grocery section? How do you see this playing out in the beef industry? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, Ky. Contact him at [email protected]