Walmart bringing more emerging brands to its shelves

BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Hundreds of entrepreneurs met with merchants in June during Walmart’s largest annual sourcing event. More than 330 pitches resulted in a business deal, and an additional 280 products may eventually land on shelves at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores or online at Walmart.com.

Walmart’s Open Call event is part of the retailer’s commitment to invest $250 billion over 10 years on products made, grown or assembled in the United States, a milestone already reached since announcing the effort in 2013. Last year, Walmart pledged to spend an additional $350 billion on such products by 2031.

“Investing in US manufacturing is not only the right thing to do for the country’s long-term economic health, it’s the right thing to do for customers today who are dealing with historic inflation,” said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer of Walmart. “We’re excited that more and more great products at strong price points are being produced in the US. Our $350 billion investment in items made, grown, or assembled in the US helps deliver our customers the goods they need, when they need them, at affordable prices, while supporting the creation of more than 750,000 jobs.”

In its ninth year, Walmart’s Open Call drew applications from more than 4,500 entrepreneurs registering more than 13,000 products. The finalists represented all 50 states and the District of Columbia and are eligible to sell shelf-stable products on Walmart’s online platforms including Walmart.com, Walmart Marketplace and Samsclub.com.

A new supplier selected through the process is Catrina’s Kitchen, Louisville, Ky., which offers Southern-inspired spices, seasonings and breading.

“We’ve met so many amazing small business owners through Open Call over the years, and this year is no exception,” said Scott Gutche, senior director of US manufacturing at Walmart. “From Catrina’s Kitchen Southern Seasoned Flour to EZ-gro’s Spicy Salad Mix, Microgreen Growing Kit, we’re so excited about the new products and people that will be joining the Walmart supplier family.” FBN

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