Skip to content

Walmart Accused of "Price Gouging" Great Value Products by Ex-Government Official

The retailer is being reprimanded for hiking prices over the last few years.

Walmart's store brand Great Value is a go-to for many shoppers, but it has also been making headlines for the wrong reasons recently. Last year, customers shared concerns about some of the ingredients in certain Great Value products, and in 2024, Walmart shoppers have called out the brand for quality issues and weight discrepancies. Now, complaints are coming from higher up, with one ex-government official warning that the Great Value brand isn't such a great value after all, thanks to alleged price gouging.

RELATED: Walmart Shoppers Say Never Buy Great Value "Ever"—Here's Why.

Robert Reich, who previously served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and now works as a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, took to social media to speak out about Walmart raising costs for consumers.

"Walmart hiked prices on its Great Value food brands," Reich wrote in an X post on March 23.

This price increase is something shoppers have noticed, according to reports from both Best Life and Eat This, Not That! at the end of 2023.

One Walmart customer broke it down in a Jan. 19 Reddit post, "Great Value doesn't really feel that 'Great'."

"It is depressing to go around and see what was supposed to have been the affordable option in grocery around Walmart, steadily become expensive," the Reddit user wrote. "I remembered a time when the Great Value sugar-free coffee creamer powder jars were $1.50. Then, they grew to $1.75. Then, to $2.12. Now? $3.48."

RELATED: Bought Meat or Fruit From Walmart? You May Be Eligible for Up to $500.

Walmart, like many other companies, has blamed its price hikes on high inflation. The consumer price index (CPI) in the U.S. reached 9.1 percent in June 2022—the highest increase seen in the country in 40 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

While inflation has since fallen, it is still considered high at 3.2 percent in Feb. 2024.

"Inflation and higher prices are kind of with us," Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said during Goldman Sachs' 30th annual Global Retailing Conference in Sept. 2023, per Retail Dive. At the time, McMillion said shoppers should expect to see prices higher in 2024 than they were two years ago.

But Reich claims that Walmart has raised prices on its Great Value products unreasonably. In his recent X post, the former Secretary of Labor pointed out that the company's "net income spiked 93 percent to $10.5 billion towards the end of 2023," and that Walmart "rewarded shareholders with $5.9 billion in buybacks and dividends" as a result of the increased prices for its store brand.

"When I say price gouging is driving inflation, this is what I mean," Reich wrote.

RELATED: Fact Check: Are Walmart and Target Charging Shoppers to Use Self-Checkout?

Many agreed with the Berkeley professor in replies to his post, slamming Walmart for its "corporate greed," and stating that it should be illegal to hike prices like this.

"Great Value products now cost as much as name brands," one X user responded. "Why buy the no name brand anymore? Walmart is no longer the place to shop to save money."

Best Life reached out to Walmart about the price gouging accusations, and we will update this story with the company's response.

But Walmart recently indicated that it has been working to lower some of its prices to better serve its budget-conscious consumers, NBC News reported.

"We took our French bread back to $1, which had been $1 for a long time and went up as inflation hit the market," Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner told investors on Feb. 20, noting that the price had reached $1.47 before the recent reduction.

Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •  •
Sources referenced in this article
  1. Source:
  2. Source: