Walmart discusses Salute to Excellence Awards Winner at PLMA Global

The retailer took home five food and five nonfood PLMA Salute to Excellence Awards for its products released in 2021.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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At its four-day PLMA Global online event, the Private Label Manufacturers Association continued speaking with some of its 2021 Salute to Excellence Award Winners about their own brand products that earned the honors.

On Wednesday, PLMA spoke with four leaders from Walmart, as the retailer won an impressive 10 awards for its products last year. Walmart’s 2021 Salute to Excellence Winners include: Great Value French Vanilla Almond Granola; Marketside Kickin’ Chicken Chowder; Marketside Decadent Dark Chocolate Cookies made with Peanut Butter M&M Candies; Great Value Lowfat Mixed Berry Yogurt Pouches; Marketside Blueberry Lemonade; Equate Eucalyptus Shower Spray, Congestion Relief & Aromatherapy; Equate Rechargeable Silicone Facial Cleansing Device; Great Value Scented Candle, 3 Wick, Blue Lava; ReliOn Analog Insulin; and Great Value Strong Flex Tall Kitchen Trash Bags. PLMA Salute to Excellence Award Winners can be found here.

Tiffany Quast, director of Walmart private brands, Sam Whiteside, senior director of Walmart private brands, Stephen O’Brien, director of Walmart private brands, and Simone Parry, senior director of Walmart private brands, spoke with PLMA about some of their award-winning products.

Walmart chowder


“We always have a pulse on the customer and know there’s always a demand for variety in this category,” said Quast, speaking about prepared deli items and the soup category, which the Marketside Kickin’ Chicken Chowder won in. “Our Kickin’ Chicken Chowder takes a classic and gives it flavor with poblano chiles, creating a meaty, mild spice that’s well-rounded. It contrasts the heat with sweet corn and rich cream stock. There’s a growing consumer demand for little to no effort meals that can be made at home or away from home that offers variety. But, it’s also just as important to provide quality at a value.”

Another winner in the food category, Marketside Decadent Dark Chocolate Cookies made with Peanut Butter M&M Candies, was created as customers crave indulgence, with candy and chocolate sales hitting a record high in 2021. It was Walmart’s second year in a row winning in the cookies category.

“Around the globe, customers are turning to these small indulgences such as cookies and candies,” said Quast. “We really observed this behavior during the recent times of uncertainty. We love that our customers turn to us for this sweet moment of joy."

Walmart insulin

Walmart won five food and five nonfood Salute to Excellence Award, and perhaps its most important winner came in the pharmacy category, with Walmart’s ReliOn analog insulin taking home an honor. The insulin tied with the Walgreens Pulse Oximeter + Respiratory Rate Monitor.

“This is the first private brand insulin on the market,” said Parry. “In the U.S., a patient is diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds, typically requiring them to buy insulin twice a month. The price of insulin has risen substantially since 2017, so affordability is a major concern for many of our customers. Customers can save an average of almost $7,500 per year with this item.”

Parry said the ReliOn private brand focuses on “affordability and trust.” According to the CDC, 37.3 million Americans have a form of diabetes.

“We work closely with our supply partners to develop high quality but affordable product offers,” she said. “Together with our Equate brand offerings across related health categories, we strive to offer customers a total solution with our products. Our customers, pharmacists and store associates all trust the ReliOn brand.”

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