Wal-Mart to offer savings on healthy food

by Eric Schroeder
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BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has partnered with health care provider HumanaVitality, a subsidiary of Humana, in a national program designed to encourage people to eat better through savings on healthier foods. Beginning Oct. 15, more than 1 million HumanaVitality members who shop at Wal-Mart will be eligible for a 5 percent savings on products that qualify for Wal-Mart’s Great For You icon, including fresh fruits, vegetables, wheat bread and low-fat dairy.

Wal-Mart said the program is an extension of the initiative it launched in 2011 to commit to making healthier food affordable and accessible.

“Price is an important factor in incentivizing wellness in America,” said John Agwunobi, M.D., president of health and wellness for Wal-Mart US. “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. We want to be our customers’ wellness destination — the retailer that provides them with affordable ways to fight for their health.”

Joe Woods, chief executive officer of HumanaVitality, said the move is all about inspiring healthier behavior.

“The ‘Vitality HealthyFood’ program with Wal-Mart represents a new way we can decrease America’s health care bill,” he said. “In a recent survey of our members, 84 percent said that a savings program would motivate them to purchase healthier foods. We will be aggressively communicating this program to more than 600,000 hospitals and physicians, as well as 60,000 insurance brokers to ensure as many members as possible can benefit from it.”

In order to qualify for the Great For You icon, items must pass a two-step nutrition criteria process. The icon is available in the produce section at Wal-Mart stores and will begin to appear on packaged Great Value and Marketside items beginning this fall, Wal-Mart said.

The “Vitality HealthyFood” program is available at all Wal-Mart stores. After accepting HumanaVitality’s terms and conditions at HumanaVitality.com or Humana.com, and taking a brief HumanaVitality Health Assessment, members will receive a “Vitality HealthyFood” card for 5 percent savings on items that qualify for the Great for You icon. The 5 percent savings will be loaded as credits to each member’s “Vitality HealthyFood” card within five business days for use on their next trip, Wal-Mart said.

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