Sam's Club is focusing a sustainability spotlight on its Member's Mark private label, announcing new ingredient and sourcing goals for Member's Mark products as it seeks to evolve the label into a "purpose-driven brand."
More than 1,200 Member's Mark items have been reformulated since 2020, Sam's Club noted in an April 19 news release, and the Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart sibling intends to continue developing products "that are reflective of the ingredients, processes and materials (that members) want—and don't want—in their products," company SVP of Private Brands and Sourcing Prathibha Rajashekhar stated.
"As we introduce new Member's Mark items and renovate existing ones, we are making decisions that not only focus on quality, innovation and value, but on the impact we are making on the world around us," Rajashekhar said.
A new Member's Mark logo and brand identity—"Made with Our Member and Planet in Mind"—are debuting in conjunction with the label's reimagining.
"More and more members are citing Member’s Mark products as a reason they renew their memberships," the warehouse club stated in its news release. In February, Walmart Inc. reported another strong quarter for its Sam's Club division, with comp sales up 10.4% year over year, excluding fuel, and transactions up 7% over the prior-year period. Membership income increased just more than 9%, and the business recorded record-high total member count.
The decision to revisit Member's Mark was spurred by Walmart's 2020 announcement of its ambition to become a regenerative company, with Sam's Club, a nearly $74 billion retail giant in its own right, then taking a critical look at its signature Member's Mark label in a move to expand the brand's assortment of items "that are made using practices that promote animal welfare, help support land and ocean health, mitigate deforestation, utilize more sustainable textiles, and come from renewable sources." Expansion in the assortment of items featuring recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging falls under this umbrella, too.
Sam's Club also is targeting the removal and replacement of certain ingredients from Member's Mark food products and other consumables; among those that the warehouse club is looking to nix are aspartame, azodicarbonamide (the so-called yoga-mat chemical), high fructose corn syrup, phthalates, a range of preservatives and artificial flavors.
Sourcing from suppliers that have received independent, third-party certification of their sustainability-focused practices is a key focus area, as well: The company said it seeks to use only sustainably sourced palm oil in all Member's Mark products by 2025, have all of the label's seafood products sourced from sustainable-practices-certified farms and fisheries by 2025, and have all Member's Mark fresh and frozen produce and live plants sourced from farms using pollinator-friendly, Integrated Pest Management practices by 2025.
Finally, Sam's Club will ask Member’s Mark manufacturers and suppliers to participate in Walmart's signature Project Gigaton program, which urges Walmart Inc. suppliers to commit to collectively preventing the release of 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
"Above all," the retailer stated, "Sam’s Club aims to embrace a regenerative mindset as it develops Member’s Mark items, placing nature, humanity, and its members at the center of item innovation and renovation."