Walmart and the “Twinkie defense”?

Today’s RetailWire discussion was triggered by the weekend news about Hostess relaunching Twinkies, and Walmart apparently breaking the “embargo.” (I know…there are more important topics in the world.) The question is whether large CPG companies favor large retailers, and the answer (shared by other panelists) is a clear “yes”:

I’m shocked — shocked! — at the idea that CPG manufacturers and other large vendors provide preferential treatment to their biggest retail customers. These can range from early launch dates to exclusive product designs to co-branded marketing plans. Industry consolidation (on both sides of the business) has only made this trend more apparent. The onus falls largely on smaller retailers to work proactively with their vendors on product development and other two-way benefits, or to develop deeper relationships with CPG companies that may not be “household names.”

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