On the most recent episode of Focus on Suppliers, Tina Winham, Walmart team leader for Nuk, shared their experience of bringing their product manufacturing back to the United States. Nuk has brought the manufacturing of their BPA-free pacifiers back to the United States. At this point, 80% of Nuk’s products are either made or assembled in the U.S.
“A lot of moms assume products that they give their children are made in the U.S.,” Winham said. This is changing, though, as Made in the USA efforts increase awareness of imports. “Now they’re becoming more wise consumers and they’re looking for that logo.”
Surveys show that most American consumers prefer to buy products that are made in America, and this is particularly true for products with safety concerns — like pacifiers put into babies’ mouths.
Walmart promised two years ago to spend $250,000,000,000 on American-made products over a decade. The retailer has gone beyond simply buying American-made goods; they’re helping suppliers with reshoring efforts, matching brands with American manufacturers, and providing expertise and financial commitment that makes the reshoring process easier. They’ve set up meetings between suppliers and governors of states that can support the building of new facilities, and created Walmart Jump, a resource site for suppliers. The organization Reshoring Initiative estimates that Walmart efforts will create 300,000 new jobs in the U.S.
Walmart continues to work with suppliers in order to bring more Made in America products into stores, while also working to sort out a labeling problem that has been making headlines recently.
Walmart asked stores to take down “Made in the USA” signs this summer, when it was made clear that the signs were being used overenthusiastically. They’ve also removed “Made in the USA” labels from the Walmart.com website, and redesigned the “Made in the USA” logo for greater clarity.
Walmart is also updating procedures to make sure that suppliers don’t overreach in their advertising and packaging. Part of the problem is that “Made in the USA” labeling can include some items that are assembled in the U.S. from parts sourced elsewhere. Suppliers may need to take legal advice to make sure their “Made in the USA” goods are legally allowed to wear that label.