I am a compensated member of the Walmart Fresh Crew, all opinions are my own.
Today I took a tour of my local Walmart’s produce department guided by the store manager and the produce manager. The whole purpose of the tour was to see first hand the changes Walmart has made to ensure the fresh produce guarantee and to discuss how it is going. When I arrived in the produce section I immediately noticed how much better it looked than it has in the past. Now this meeting was pre-arranged so they knew I as coming, but I was in over the weekend and looked around and it looked the same today as it did this past Sunday so this seems to be the new norm.
The produce manager was delightful and definitely passionate about ensuring quality. Employees are undergoing new training to better ensure fresh produce and part of that training is ensuring they know how to spot good fruit from bad. Three to four times a day the employees look through the produce and pull anything they would not want to sell, the still edible food is then put aside to donate to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank at the end of the day. I was thrilled to hear that our local food bank is getting fresh produce on a daily basis!
Walmart is also cutting down on the farm to table time by buying as much local produce as they can. I loved hearing about several local Ohio farms they are buying from and seeing the great produce our state is providing for us. Another change is now all the produce is loaded straight from the truck into a cooler. Then only the needed amount of produce is placed out on the floor with multiple restocks throughout the day. This means if you shop after work your produce is still fresh not aged from sitting out in the store all day and it means less waste of ruined produce.
Another thing they are now doing is making sure that they are giving water baths to freshly cut wet produce every day. The lettuce and the asparagus and the cabbage are much fresher looking than I have seen at other grocery retailer. Another great thing Walmart is doing is issuing reports for produce overstock based on each store. When a store has overstock that needs to move before it goes bad they are authorized to reduce the price to move the product faster which is great news for the consumer.
Another new improvement is the produce item temporarily unavailable signs. This may seem trivial but in the past Walmart filled in any empty spots where produce had sold through with a different product. This led to confusion that Walmart no longer carried certain items when they were simply sold out. Now Walmart has these little signs they put out and the consumer knows they still carry the product it is just temporarily sold out.
After talking to the managers at Walmart and seeing the quality of produce I am excited about the direction Walmart is going plus they still have the 100% money back guarantee!