Wal-Mart set to unveil healthier food options

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N said it is set to unveil an initiative on Thursday to provide its customers healthier and more affordable food options.

Wal-Mart did not provide further details, but the New York Times said the world’s largest retailer plans to make thousands of its packaged foods lower in unhealthy salts, fats and sugars, and to drop prices on fruits and vegetables.

The company’s five-year healthy diet plan came about after having discussions with Michelle Obama, who will attend the announcement in Washington, the Times said on its website.

Wal-Mart aims to bring lower-priced, healthier foods to urban areas that do not have traditionally grocery stores, as it tries to expand in urban areas like Chicago and New York.

The changes in the packaged food will be introduced slowly, over a period of five years to give consumers time to adjust to the new taste, the newspaper said.

Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Lincoln Feast