Walmart’s online grocery ads tout fresh produce expertise

Is Walmart sending a not-so-subtle message about Instacart?

As gig economy service providers like Instacart take a beating in the media lately, I’ve noticed one big change in the way Walmart is advertising its online groceries.

In a not-so-subtle jab at rivals using third-party shoppers, I’ve started seeing numerous ads pop up on my social media feeds, and even on TV, promoting Walmart’s in-house expertise in grocery selection.

Check out this video featuring Jennifer Garner and a Walmart employee talking about how they’re trained to select groceries.

The 15-second spot is actually a clip from Garner and Walmart’s “Community Table” campaign. You can see the full video here:

I thought it was fascinating they’ve pulled the clip – though maybe a little out of context – for social media just as I started seeing ads for online grocery fulfillment by Walmart employees that look like this:

I keep seeing these smiling faces in my Facebook feed, reassuring me that professionals — not harried soccer moms like myself — choose the fresh produce for my grocery pickup orders.

With Instacart getting dragged for cutting pay, employee walkouts, and ever-changing policies (including the latest jab, cutting a $3 “quality bonus” for perfect reviews) – not to mention hilarious commentary about trying to dodge “Instacart shoppers (who) think they’re playing Mario Kart.”— this is a smart move on Walmart’s part to play up their own services, especially when it comes to fresh produce selection.

Fresh produce is one of the last holdouts for many consumers afraid to cede the selection to an amateur. If a retailer wants to convince consumers to switch to online shopping, they’re going to have to gain their trust in in fresh produce.

Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.