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Walmart's new pitch: eat healthier, save more


Walmart is launching a program in the U.S. that will give people money off their grocery bill for buying healthier foods.

Beginning Oct. 15, the retailer, in conjunction with HumanaVitality, a health-care company, will offer five per cent savings on products that qualify for Walmart’s Great for You icon. The symbol identifies healthy foods within Walmart stores.

To take part in the program, shoppers must go through several steps. First, they must accept Humana Vitality's terms and conditions online and take a brief health assessment.

Members in the program then receive their "Vitality Healthy Food" card which allows them to redeem savings. When a member shops at Walmart, the five per cent savings are loaded as credits to the card within five business days for use on their next trip.

Available initially to more than one million HumanaVitality members, the program will expand to additional members early next year.

Walmart says that by collaborating with HumanaVitality, a subsidiary of a health-care company that offers insurance products and health and wellness services, it is addressing the sometimes higher price of healthy foods and working to bring down the costs of health care in the U.S.

The retailer points to recent research that shows consumers find it costly to eat well. “One in four families report skipping healthy purchases often or always due to price,” Walmart said in a release.

"Price is an important factor in incentivizing wellness in America. By offering affordable, healthier foods, we will help make our customers healthier and reduce costs to our health-care system as a whole. This represents preventative care in its purest form," John Agwunobi, president of health and wellness at Walmart U.S., said.

Walmart's Great For You icon was developed with nutrition experts and designed to help customers quickly identify healthy foods at its stores.

Items with the Great For You icon must pass what Walmart says is a rigorous, two-step nutrition criteria process.

The icon is available in the produce section at Walmart stores and will begin to appear on packaged private-label Great Value and Marketside items beginning this fall.

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