Business

Wal-Mart launches food service

Online offerings will let subscribers do taste test

NEW YORK – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. today will officially launch a mail subscription service called Goodies that lets shoppers discover new foods from the comfort of their homes.

For a monthly fee of $7 that includes tax and shipping, customers get a box of five to eight hand-picked, sample-size food items, ranging from organic to ethnic products that are not currently carried on Wal-Mart’s shelves. The world’s largest retailer began testing the service three months ago and so far has 3,000 subscribers. For November, items include pumpkin souffle mix, white cheddar popcorn and dark chocolate-infused quinoa bars.

Wal-Mart told reporters in late May that its research division – Walmart Labs – was creating a food subscription service, but the company didn’t offer many details.

Users can sign up for the service at www.goodies.co. The monthly price is almost half of the total value of the items if they were purchased separately, according to Wal-Mart. If customers like the products, they can purchase full-size versions on the Goodies Co. website. Goodies has also created a social community online where subscribers can post reviews to earn loyalty points. The points can be redeemed in the future for items in the store.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest food retailer, is also looking to use Goodies as a way to spot food trends in its stores.



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