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01/14/2022

Walmart helps shoppers ‘Shop by Diet’ through new digital platform

Powered by Sifter, the program finds private brand and branded products that fit a shoppers dietary restrictions or lifestyle.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Walmart is helping shoppers shop for branded and private brand goods based on dietary restrictions, rolling out the “Shop by Diet” platform on its website and via mobile. QR codes will be in stores that shoppers can scan and gain access to the platform to shop or research items, too.

The retailer is working with Sifter, an e-commerce nutrition platform that was created by Andrew and Thomas Parkinson, founders of Peapod and ItemMaster. Sifter will power “Shop by Diet” using its Nutrition as a Service platform that allows users to find food products and dietary supplements based on their personal diet needs and preferences.

In an interview with Store Brands, Judy Seybold, chief nutrition officer at Chicago-based Sifter, said the platform can actually help private brands get on a more level playing field, too.

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A mobile screenshot of the diet tool

Seybold said Sifter analyzes all products equally. “Thus, private brands are analyzed using the same algorithms along with major brands,” she said. “A shopper can then make an informed choice prior to a product purchase. For example, a branded yogurt may identify as gluten-free. Yet the private brand may not identify this on a package. Sifter's technology and algorithms factor in package information, naturally-occurring and ingredient line sources of information, and allergen statements to determine that both products contain no gluten. This levels the playing field for private brands in a way that's not been done before."

As an example of how to use the new Shop-by-Diet tool, customers can toggle, for example, “dairy-none” and then scan the food item they are interested in and it will let them know if it is a match for their wellness goals. More than 200 million consumers are said to be adhering to a diet or health-related program, while 85 million are reported to have allergies or food avoidances when shopping.

The Shop-by-Diet tool is live, aiming to help shoppers find foods and supplements that fit their personal dietary and lifestyle goals with greater variety and flavor. Walmart customers will be able to discover and shop for foods based on allergens such as nuts or dairy; medical diets such as diabetes and heart health; and dozens of lifestyle diets, from vegan to keto to kosher. Shoppers also can use the Shop-by-Diet tool to sort through products based on responsible practices like grass-fed, or find products that won’t interact with medications.

“Partnering with Walmart to support customer wellness is exciting for everyone at Sifter," said Andrew Parkinson, co-founder of Sifter. "Sifter’s passion is to make healthy eating easy for everyone. Walmart’s Shop-by-Diet tool will help millions of its customers better manage their health through diet and nutrition."