Walmart will also dramatically reduce or eliminate the price premium on "better-for-you" options such as reduced sodium, sugar or fat on products from the same manufacturer.

"Our customers often ask us why whole wheat pasta sometimes costs more than regular pasta made by the same manufacturer," added Thomas. "We will use our size and scale to reduce the price premium on these types of products whenever possible because customers shouldn't have to pay more to eat healthier. Customers should be able to choose knowing the biggest difference in these products is not the price, but rather that one is better for you."

In addition, Walmart will develop a simple front-of-package seal in consultation with health organizations to help customers identify healthier food for their families. The seal will be supported by a nutritious food standard designed to increase vitamins, minerals, whole grains, fruits and vegetables in food products, while limiting saturated fats, sodium and added sugars.

Later this year, Walmart will add this seal to its private branded food products that meet the strong criteria and will also offer the seal to its suppliers for their national brands that qualify. This effort will complement the front-of package nutrition labeling system already being discussed by the food industry.

"The simple front-of-package seal will apply to a small number of healthier products and give customers an easy way to instantly identify food options that are better for them and save them time when shopping our stores," Thomas said.

Simon added: "We are committed to working collaboratively and in partnership with our suppliers in order to make this initiative a success. Many of them are already exhibiting strong leadership in this area and together we can have an enormous impact on the health and well being of our customers and their families."

The company has also made it a business priority to find innovative ways to provide fresh and affordable groceries to people in urban and rural communities across America who are living in food deserts.

"As we continue to expand in the U.S., we are focused on developing new formats and new approaches that will offer underserved communities fresh and affordable food options where they are needed most," Simon said.

Last year, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation launched a $2 billion effort to help fight hunger through 2015 by donating fresh, nutritious foods to food banks across the nation. This year the company will increase charitable support for food and nutrition programs by funding education efforts that teach consumers about healthier food options. The Walmart Foundation recently awarded Share Our Strength, a national organization dedicated to providing children facing hunger with nutritious food, a $1.5 million grant to fund the expansion of the "Cooking Matters" and launch of the "Shopping Matters" nutrition education programs.

Walmart will work with the Partnership for a Healthier America, a non-partisan convener of private-public sector efforts, to solve the nation's obesity challenge, as part of its commitment to accountability and transparency.

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