A new “women-owned” label on goods will appear in Walmarts nationwide this fall, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
In recent years, many brands have responded to growing customer trends to purchase products they deem ecologically and socially ethical by slapping everything from “certified organic” to “locally sourced” to "GMO-free" onto product packages. But this is the first time a major retailer is using labels to spotlight products by women-owned companies.
The logo was created by two nonprofit groups and Walmart, which aims to bring consumer recognition of products provided by women-owned businesses on store shelves. The retail company will begin using the small, circular symbol — representative of women holding hands — on everything from lingerie to salsa beginning in September.
Walmart itself doesn’t determine what products are produced by women-owned companies. This job is left to the Women’s Enterprise National Council and WEConnect International. Businesses that get the same approval from either organization can use the new logo.
“People are looking for reasons to feel good about the company they’re buying from,” Pamela Prince-Eason, CEO of Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, tells Bloomberg Businessweek.
Sexy & Smart, a lingerie brand, and Maggie’s Salsa are two companies that already plan to use the logo, but they won’t be the last, Prince-Eason says.
“I think there’s a very strong business case for having the logo on a product,” she says, citing research from Walmart that found 90 percent of female shoppers will purchase goods marketed by women-owned businesses.
Walmart has been trying to bolster its women-owned products for a while. In 2011, the company pledged to buy $20 billion of products from US female-owned businesses over the next five years, and in 2013 it launched its "Empowering Women Together" section of Walmart.com, which features products made by small, female-owned businesses from nine different countries.
"Women-Owned" is not the first unique label Walmart has adopted. In 2012, the retailer introduced a new front-of-the-pack label to indicate which of its food products are healthier. The “Great For You” label initially appeared on select Walmart Great Value and Marketside items, as well as on fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables at all US stores this spring.