Walmart launches food subscriptions

(Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com)

(Johnny Crawford, jcrawford@ajc.com)

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You’ve taken out subscriptions for newspapers, magazines, mobile phones and cable TV, why not food?

Six months after announcing plans to test a food subscription service, WalMart has officially launched the effort by teaming up with www.goodies.co. For $7 a month, you’ll get five to eight sample-size food items in a “Taster’s Box”. The products, which currently aren’t in WalMart stores, are chosen by its Tasting Lab researchers . You try them out and share your opinions about them online.

Wal-Mart, which is also trying same-day delivery in some markets and layaways to get a larger share of the retail market and keep existing customers, hopes the food subscription service will help it spot trends in consumer tastes. So far, at least 3,000 have signed up.

According to The Associated Press:

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.

Walmart promises, “Only wow-factor foods make it into the Taster’s Box.” Are you ready take out a subscription to test products that may eventually end up on Wal-Mart’s store shelves? What other retailers should consider subscriptions?

84 comments Add your comment

Kat

November 14th, 2012
11:45 am

No, I am not willing to be a guinea pig for Wal-Mart. You want me to PAY Wal-Mart to sample something new, give my opinion/input, so you can jack up the price to sell it to me later? No, thank you.

mb

November 14th, 2012
11:49 am

Agreed. Most companies pay people to test their products and provide their feedback and opinions. Why would I PAY Walmart?? No way!

robert

November 14th, 2012
11:51 am

Sad thing is somebody is gonna sign up. WALMART wants me to pay them to be part of market research, that they are probably not only using for their own stores, but also selling the data to their vendors. SOUNDS CRAZY

GTT

November 14th, 2012
11:51 am

Yes, I will not pay them to test their products. I will accept pay for providing them honest feedback.

crazyidea

November 14th, 2012
11:53 am

Wal-Mart has run out of ideas.

OMGWTFLOL

November 14th, 2012
11:54 am

Uh…It’d cost me less to visit the store and be hounded by college-age and senior citizen ‘marketing reps’ desperately trying to woo shoppers into trying a free sample of XYZ item.

Alex

November 14th, 2012
11:57 am

What sloppy reporting. Wal Mart is not “teaming up with http://www.goodco.com” as the reporter would suggest. A simple review of their web site indicates that “Goodies Co. is a Walmart brand and not a separate company. Goodies Co. was developed @WalmartLabs, a tech innovation division that operates within Walmart’s Global eCommerce group.”

Dr. Socrates

November 14th, 2012
12:01 pm

Walmart has the concept backwards: You pay people to give their opinions, not charge them. Besides, these are sample-size, not full portion meals. If one wants to eat a sample, they can go to the store or have it mailed to them by the vendor. Walmart intends to sell these opinions back to the vendors and make money on both ends. Whoever came up with the idea to charge people for their opinions needs to be terminated.

pattikay

November 14th, 2012
12:03 pm

How STUPID!!! What if they send you canned sardines or pickeled artichokes to taste. What if they send a small can of soup that would cost 39 cents. You getting your money’s worth??? I made $75 per taste session at a marketing focus group….who would PAY WalMart????

Christopher Seward

November 14th, 2012
12:03 pm

You are correct, Alex.

Sam

November 14th, 2012
12:04 pm

I would sign up for “food prescription” service if they automatically sent my groceries to me each month w/o me having to come to the store. An extra $5 a month would be worth not having to fight traffic, lines to pay, and stupid people milling about the store.

Big John

November 14th, 2012
12:07 pm

Hey all you Walmart fans. Here is a tip. Better price shop any prescriptions you THINK Walmart is cheaper on, especially cash or non-insurance covered meds. Walmart has BIG markups on many prescription drugs. These guys are marketing experts. Have you not noticed that the pharmacy dept is the ONLY dept in Walmart that you cannot SEE THE PRICE without asking.

Jean Dixon

November 14th, 2012
12:09 pm

It’s just another way for Walmart to get some brainless people to pay to test products that are not made in
the U.S. but made in China. How stupid are we Americans to fall for this one!!!

Shane

November 14th, 2012
12:22 pm

@ Sam and Big John: The article is about SUBSCRIPTIONS, not PRESCRIPTIONS. Meds have nothing to do with this.

catlady

November 14th, 2012
12:29 pm

Not for me! I generally avoid the place.

Dee-Dee

November 14th, 2012
12:31 pm

Most companies will send you FREE samples for a new product. Why pay to try them?

jw

November 14th, 2012
12:31 pm

So, that’s 12 in the no column and none in the yes column.

Guess this will be another Wal-Mart success!!!!!!

Considering we want to be paid for our opinion and that sure doesn’t seem to work – why not try something completely different?

Lot’s of companies – including WalMart live by that credo – can’t knock it too much!!! They ran Sears and Kmart to the brink of extinction because they tried something different that those two were unwilling to do –

They’ve got nothing to lose, that’s for sure!!!!!

Allison Wonderland

November 14th, 2012
12:33 pm

Rip off!!! Already being done on bzzagent.com for free!

Steve

November 14th, 2012
12:43 pm

Anyone who shops at Wal-Mart is pathetic. Ever seen the people in there? Wow.

Bud

November 14th, 2012
12:45 pm

Ever seen the people in Kroger? Publix? Target? Nothing wrong with WalMart. Stop stereotyping people!

Patricia

November 14th, 2012
12:47 pm

Wal-mart you need to pay me for tasting the food!!! That’s what they do in Vegas, to get the public’s opinion on new food to be in restaurants.

TBone

November 14th, 2012
12:55 pm

How stupid are we Americans to fall for this one!!!
Judging from the election last week, the sky is the limit.

Steve

November 14th, 2012
12:58 pm

Bud, huge difference between Kroger/Publix and Wal-Mart/Target. Don’t be afraid to go by the facts. Funny how everything is in spanish at Wal-Mart.

Warranted

November 14th, 2012
12:58 pm

Ah, what is overlooked here is that most of the people who have commented on this article are not in the “target” group for this Walmart initiative. Everyone here understands Walmart is trying to get paid on both ends, but many will see it as “Wow, I can spend just $7 and get all these samples, what a deal!”.

Oy!

November 14th, 2012
1:02 pm

Lemme get this straight: You (Walmart) want people to PAY YOU for your marketing research (that typically pays the consumer $50/hr through a research group)?!!?!!!!!!!!!!!!! *blank stare* BWAAAHHHHAHHAHAHHAHAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This ish is hilarious. lol… smh….

Ricky

November 14th, 2012
1:07 pm

So at present count, they can count on $21,000/month ($252,000/year) in sales? I must be doing something wrong. I need to come up with a product that will bring in that income.

Oy!

November 14th, 2012
1:09 pm

It’ll work if they take EBT. What do you think keeps SCHWANS going in the metro…

Dee928

November 14th, 2012
1:13 pm

I tried Walmart’s chicken and it tastes HORRIBLE. I asked them why it was so hard and they stated that their food comes in already cooked and frozen..YIKES!, yet I see them frying boxes and boxes of it for customers to pick up and long lines at the counter. This tells me that people will gladly jump on that $7 food sample.

Jill

November 14th, 2012
1:14 pm

Isn’t that what lab rats are for?

Bud

November 14th, 2012
1:21 pm

@Steve – Is there something wrong with being bilingual? What a racist!

Ivory

November 14th, 2012
1:22 pm

This company has too much BRASS, I haven’t a clue why anyone would even shop there!

Bud

November 14th, 2012
1:25 pm

Walmarts prices are awesome!! Thats why people shop there! With todays economy, every penny helps!

Fred ™

November 14th, 2012
1:33 pm

Walmart wants people to PAY to participate in market research? They’ll find idiots to do it. They are called Republicans and they voted for Romney………..

Cobb Shopper

November 14th, 2012
1:42 pm

I would not subscribe to a food-sample-subscription service for $7 month simply because I don’t spend money on anything frivolous. In my budget that $7 is better spent on ingredients with which I can make homemade and better tasting foods for my family. I imagine the samples provided would be processed, ready-to-eat foods which would be fairly expensive once on the shelves.

Regarding Walmart stores, I shop regularly at the Walmart on Marietta Highway in Dallas, GA. I’ve shopped there since the day opened (probably 8+ years, now). There prices are the best on many products, but not all. For that reason, I also shop Kroger, Publix, and Target with coupons. Walmart will match any competitor’s advertised price just by telling them what it is. The store is clean and 99% of the employees are friendly and helpful. Two employees in the deli department are especially wonderful and have worked there for years.

Cobb Shopper

November 14th, 2012
1:47 pm

Darn, I wish there was an editing feature on comments… “…since the day they opened…” and “Their prices are the best…”.

@!Fred, I’m a fiscal conservative/social moderate who voted for Romney and yet I would not pay to participate in Walmart’s food subscription service. Hmmm.

Cass

November 14th, 2012
1:50 pm

Walmart, Are you crazy?!! I usually get paid for this type of service.
No Way……

Elmo Lincoln

November 14th, 2012
1:54 pm

What will they think of next? Making people pay to go to the New World of Sid and Marty Krofft?

lol

November 14th, 2012
1:57 pm

re: Cobb Shopper

You do know there is nothing fresh and non processed in walmart, right? down to their “meat cuts”..

the joke is on you.

you want real food, try whole foods or even the publix deli. only mainstream stores in this state to carry something resembling food

I Shop Around

November 14th, 2012
2:04 pm

Wal-mart is great with clothing, appliances, baby items, canned foods, sugar, milk, etc., but I don’t like their produce or their bakery. Publix has a much better bakery & much better produce. I agree with everyone, Wal-mart should be paying out, God knows they can afford it. And, last, but not least, President Obama won, get over it!! You will be thanking God he is in office if you ever lose your job, home, healthcare, etc. The NERVE of some of you to look down on people that receive EBT and shop at Wal-mart. Unless you are God Almighty, you can’t look down on a living being. The person you step over today may be the same person that will have to pick you up tomorrow. Be careful, you aren’t as high and mighty as you may think you are with your noses in the air. How dare you look down on another human being. Only look down at him/her unless you are picking him/her up. And they lied and said this Country was built on Christianity, that’s a LIE. I bet most of you talking down & looking down on people go to church, ??????????????????????????

rojer

November 14th, 2012
2:08 pm

Enter your comments here

rojer

November 14th, 2012
2:14 pm

Id try this if they dropped it off by the house. Might be fun to taste something different and id look forward to the package, at least at the beginning. Cant really see myself signing up but its not a crazy idea. Why so much offense to an offer from Walmart. Its not like theyre raising prices on other items to pay for it. My only question is whether the goods will really be any different. Id assume that the goods would be worth about the 7 bucks you put in if its really testing info they want.

Free Market Fan

November 14th, 2012
2:18 pm

Here’s an idea: If you don’t like it, don’t try it. If you try it and don’t like it, cancel it. Or are people incapable of making such difficult decisions? Obviously, 3,000 people see at least some value in trying it (unless they all work for Wal-Mart) ;-)

Grumps

November 14th, 2012
2:24 pm

No, I am not willing to pay to do WalMart’s market research for them.

Scratchin my head

November 14th, 2012
2:25 pm

If I start glowin in the dark…..or get a free “Redneck Vacation” voucher in the provided sample; how would I get my money back?

zeke

November 14th, 2012
2:26 pm

I already signed up!

Scratchin my head

November 14th, 2012
2:27 pm

You don’t think they would send ya milk, butter or eggs do ya?

Bronc

November 14th, 2012
2:33 pm

Fred…have you read most of these postings…most of these people want to get paid to test the products…if they were free they would surely do it…these like yourself are the idiots…Democrates…always want something for free…free…free…Obama will probably make sure they get it for free…

gagirl

November 14th, 2012
2:42 pm

Steve is a stupid, ignorant racist.

Icarus10

November 14th, 2012
2:50 pm

All I’ve got to say to them is” Don’t let that door hit you in the back when you leave.”

People really shop there?

November 14th, 2012
2:51 pm

Um, no thanks. Walmart is gross. Their produce looks like what’s left on the truck after Publix and Kroger gets theres. Plus, I get way better deals at Publix with their Bogo and coupons. True, Walmart does price match, but they don’t double coupons. Furthermore, they are fine with (and even encourage) their employees relying on the government for food and healthcare, while they continually line their pockets with more $$$.