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Walmart launches artisanal food subscription service

Walmart has announced the launch of Goodies Co., a monthly food subscription service for consumers to savour delectable foods and discover new items.

The system, which is available only in the continental U.S. charges subscribers seven dollars a month to receive a gift box at their doorstep filled with five to eight hand-picked taster samples ranging from healthy and organic to artisan and ethnic.

The new Goodies Co. box, created by @WalmartLabs [the giant’s Silicon Valley-based innovation brain trust], underscores Walmart’s commitment to e-commerce and its use of social innovations to create new offerings for consumers, the company said in a release.

WalmartLabs’ VP of products Ravi Raj told Fast Company: “We don’t want to carry run-of-the-mill products. We want them to evoke a sense of passion and excitement in our customers. The key thing is having that ‘wow’ factor.”

Goodies Co. has been in a private beta test for the last few months with over 3,000 users across the United States.

Each month, treats are arranged into a thematic selection such as “Flavors around the World,” and “Trick-or-Treat Sweets” for Halloween.

November’s Thanksgiving theme-boxed offering is called “Easy Entertaining” and features gourmet foods such as wine biscuits, pumpkin soufflé mix, dark chocolate infused Quinoa bars, and white cheddar popcorn among others.

The products arrive in a gift box with an information card that describes each food in detail.

“We continue to experiment with new offerings to delight our customers and leave them with a smile,” said Raj.  “With Goodies Co., subscribers have the pleasure of opening a box filled with delicious treats every month that they like or may never have tried before.  Great value combined with a community of food lovers and the sheer surprise of what a box might hold makes Goodies Co. a compelling offering.”

What sets this service apart from other current offerings is that Goodies Co. is the first to offer a large assortment of products for a total price that is almost half of the total value of the items if they were purchased separately.  For example, the total price for all of the items in the November box would be approximately $15 compared to the Goodies Co. $7 price.

Subscribers can also purchase full-size versions of products they love right from the Goodies Co. website. 

Goodies Co. also features a social community online where subscribers can post reviews to earn loyalty points that can then be redeemed in the future for boxes or items in the store.

Goodies Co. is the latest in a series of innovations from @WalmartLabs.

The group has also unveiled Polaris, a search engine built from the ground up and used on Walmart.com; Shopycat, a social gift finder; Classrooms by Walmart, a program to make back-to-school shopping easer; Get on the Shelf, a crowdsourcing contest to unearth new products for Walmart; and Social Media Analytics, tools that use social chatter to select items to be carried by Walmart.

Watch the video on Goodies Co. here:

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