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Quick Hits: Wal-Mart Goes Organic


Socially conscious coffee on the cheap

Starbucks (SBUX) can't catch a break. First the popular coffee chain got railed for taking advantage of poor farmers and altered its image by peddling socially-responsible gear and roasting trade friendly beans.

Next McDonald's (MCD) dove into the liquid addiction market. Morning grease bombs are now accompanied by froo-froo iced coffee premium roast java. Starbucks tried its hand at sausage and cheese but couldn't cut the mustard.

Now the world's biggest retailer is getting into the business of slinging caffeine fixes. Wal-Mart (WMT) is rolling out organic, eco-friendly coffee in all its U.S. stores later this month. Fair trade beans cost more than their exploitive brethren, but the king of thrift will offer it at a discount to competitors' high prices.

It's unclear whether Wal-Mart will open a grill and start flipping burgers at the drive-thru window, but stretched shoppers can now save the planet without breaking the bank.

For more on Starbucks and coffee, check out Hoofy & Boo's always astute report.

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