Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) will start to sell its own "green" brands of coffee. They will be come from beans planted at carbon-neutral facilities.
The brands, will, of course compete with the Maxwell House and Chock Full ‘O Nuts cans already on the biggest retailer’s shelves. They need Wal-Mart more than Wal-Mart needs them.
The news makes for good PR with the tree-huggers in the press, but Wal-Mart shoppers are not going to care unless the coffee is dirt cheap. No one is coming to the stores to get coffee which was brought to market without killing any woodland creatures. Even if Al Gore’s face is on the label, it is unlikely to suck in one buyer.
Special coffee is for Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX). The people who come to Wal-Mart usually don’t have a lot of money. "Green" means nothing to them.
Douglas A. McIntyre