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"Making WIC Work"

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Food Marketing Institute issues report on the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children. The report addresses "issues" of concern to food retailers, the group represented by FMI, as well as cases of "success stories" in which retailers worked with state WIC agencies to resolve problems. The report notes the infant formula category is one of the greatest "pricing challenges" for retailers. Stores "set prices (therefore, margins) very low to draw customers into the store"; if a WIC agency determines that price to be too high, "retailers must sell infant formula at a loss." The price WIC establishes for infant formula is based on the wholesale price of a product less a rebate given by the contracting manufacturer. Infant formula is marketed by Bristol-Myers' Mead Johnson division (Enfamil), Abbott's Ross Products division (Similac) and Nestle (Carnation). Private label infant formula recently was introduced by American Home Products' Wyeth-Ayerst Nutritionals division
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