Wal-Mart isn't generally the first thing one thinks of when gourmet, artisanal snacks come to mind, but the hugely successful chain store is looking to change all that.
The company is launching such a service today via Goodies Co., which provides a box full of sample-sized treats each month for a small fee of $7. Each month carries a theme, and each box is something of a surprise when it arrives, including anything from gourmet popcorn to dark chocolate to expensive nuts. The idea, Wal-Mart says, is to get their customers access to the things they won't find in the store, and to learn exactly what their consumers are looking for in order to change up product placement.
"We don’t want to carry run of the mill products," WalMartLabs' VP of products Ravi Raj said. "We want them to evoke a sense of passion and excitement in our customers. The key thing is having that 'wow' factor."
These days, such a service is invaluable to companies who have left the market untapped; in a time when "foodies" are everywhere and consumers are becoming much more aware of what they buy, eat, and feed their families, the option for healthy, organic, or higher-end food products is a necessity. The company is hoping customers will try the service and give them feedback, which will develop a two-way communication to determine what products get sent out. Users can sign up to rate and review the items on the Goodies Co. website to earn points, which can in turn grant them their next box of goodies for free. And in today's world of social media and smartphones, the company may find instant gratification with the rollout of new products.
WalMartLabs says right now the focus is on food, but they may very well branch out into other areas depending on customer feedback.