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Walmart Canada launches magazine that's loaded with recipes

Food is a big part of new publication, says Walmart's chief marketing officer

Walmart Canada's new magazine, Walmart Live Better, hit stores this week with a noticeable emphasis on food.

Not only did the first issue feature a home-baked cake on the cover, the inside contained more than 30 recipes whose ingredients can be purchased at Walmart’s Supercentre stores.

“We want to inspire our shoppers through food and recipes,” Emma Fox, Walmart Canada’s chief marketing officer, told Canadian Grocer. “We also want to raise awareness that Walmart sells all of these different products.”

About 30 pages of the 100-page debut issue of Walmart Live Better were devoted to food.

Articles ranged from how different coloured foods, such as blueberries and red peppers, can benefit the body, to a two-page feature on ways to incorporate couscous in a variety of meals.

As expected (this is Walmart, after all) several recipes were aimed at readers’ wallets.

For instance, a section called “Rush Hour Dinners” provided recipes for meals that could feed a family of four for under $12. To prove the twelve-dollar-deal was real, the article broke down the cost of a meal by each ingredient.

That provided a handy opportunity to promote two of Walmart’s inexpensive private label lines: Our Finest and Great Value. A cup of Great Value frozen green peas, required to make a primavera fettucine, added just 66 cents to the cost of the overall meal. The total cost of the meal, including Great Value fettuccine and Our Finest Alfredo Sauce: $8.70.

Fox said that the magazine would raise awareness among shoppers of Walmart's food and consumable product lines.  “Some people told us ‘Gee, I didn’t know Walmart sold all these things.’ ”

Fox pointed out that Walmart Live Better is a perfect fit for her company’s customers. Walmart shoppers are heavy users of magazines and mom shoppers in particular are “always looking for recipe ideas,” she said.

Other sections of the first issue of the magazine focus on home cleaning, health and beauty and spring fashions.

Walmart Live Better joins a bevy of other retailer-owned magazines.

In the grocery space alone, Sobeys and Longo’s publish magazines. Shoppers Drug Mart has published its own glossy magazine, Glow, for more than a decade.

A year ago Loblaw Companies signed a distribution agreement with the owners of a new magazine, Fresh Juice, that would see that 325,000 copies of that publication sent to Loblaw’s most loyal customers.

READ: Walmart gets into the magazine game too

Walmart said it will distribute one million copies of its magazine through its Supercentre stores in English Canada. A French version  isn’t expected to launch until the end of this year.

The print edition of the magazine is being published six times a year for Walmart by the custom content division of Rogers Media (which, in addition to owning Canadian Grocer, also operates magazines such as Maclean’s, Chatelaine and Today’s Parent).

Walmart is also extending the Live Better brand beyond print. Its content is being made available on smartphones and devices like the iPad. A website has also been launched.

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