UPDATE 1-Wal-Mart launching "Goodies" food service

(Includes details of Goodies service)

ROGERS, Ark., May 31 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc will soon launch a monthly mail subscription service called "Goodies" that will allow customers to sample new foods not found in stores run by the world's biggest retailer.

Once a month, subscribers will get a surprise box of items that will include artisanal foods, Global eCommerce Chief Executive Neil Ashe told reporters Thursday at a meeting in Rogers, Arkansas.

The service, which "will launch in the next month or so," comes as Wal-Mart samples its customers' appetite for a wider variety of food while it experiments with grocery delivery in the San Francisco Bay area and parts of Chicago.

Ashe did not disclose the monthly charge for the Goodies service, which will focus on packaged food.

At first, Wal-Mart will select the products sent to subscribers, though over time companies may be able to pay to have their products included in the Goodies boxes.

Ashe said Goodies is akin to Birchbox, a monthly service that allows customers to sample beauty products such as cosmetics and skin-care potions.

(Reporting By Jessica Wohl and Lisa Baertlein in Rogers, Arkansas; Editing by Gary Hill)

((jessica.wohl@thomsonreuters.com)(+1 312 408 8132))