Published on: April 9, 2008Supervalu announced that it will roll out later this month a new Wild Harvest private label natural and organic line of products that initially will encompass 150 SKUs ranging from mealtime staples like milk, eggs, meat and fresh produce to pastas and sauces, cookies, crackers, cereal and juice. Long term, the brand will include approximately 250 to 300 products across various categories.
In addition to a broad selection of products from which to choose, Supervalu says that Wild Harvest is priced approximately 15 percent lower than branded organic and natural products and is positioned to meet or beat competitors' private-label organic prices.
"With the Wild Harvest brand, we're focused on helping consumers 'organify their world' by delivering a wide assortment of affordable, fresh, healthy and wholesome foods at their primary grocery shopping destination," said Adam Graham, Wild Harvest brand manager. "Now, the entire family meal can be organic - at a lower cost - from products conveniently available at a local SUPERVALU-owned supermarket."
“Organify your world” is, in fact, the slogan being used in advertising and in-store to promote the new line, which will be found in most of Supervalu’s banners, including Acme, Albertsons, bigg's, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw's/Star Market, Shop 'n Save and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.
"The Wild Harvest launch demonstrates Supervalu's renewed focus on being a more customer-centric organization," said Duncan Mac Naughton, executive vice president, Supervalu merchandising and marketing. "Significant research and consumer insights went into the development of the brand, which has enabled us to create a highly desirable offering that speaks directly to consumers' desire for fresh, wholesome and affordable foods that help them live a healthier lifestyle."
The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the Wild Harvest introduction is part of CEO Jeff Noddle’s long-term plan to advance the company’s private label sales, from the current 15 percent of the total to 17 percent during the next fiscal year and eventually to 20 percent.
Supervalu lays out the rationale for the line as follows:
“Consumer demand for organic and natural foods, which has grown 10 to 15 percent annually over the past 15 years across all retail channels, is a sign of shifting priorities among grocery shoppers who are increasingly mindful of a product's ingredients, origin and methods by which it is made rather than a passing trend.(1) With even faster growth of 25 percent annually, supermarkets now account for more than 60 percent of all organic/natural sales.(2) This further demonstrates that consumers appreciate the convenience of shopping for both traditional and organic/natural foods in their primary supermarket.(3) These factors, along with consumers' evolving health-conscious lifestyles, provided the platform for the launch of Wild Harvest, which represents the first major brand initiative for Supervalu since the company's acquisition of select Albertsons properties in June 2006.”
- KC's View:
- Earlier this year, of course, Supervalu decided to shut down its five Sunflower Markets, which originally were designed to be a value-driven organic alternative to Whole Foods and its brethren, saying that the Sunflower units were not meeting profitability and productivity goals. The emails we got here at MNB showed that there were a number of people who had developed an affection for the Sunflower stores, so it will be interesting to see how they’ll react to the new Wild Harvest line.
Ultimately, the dual goals of building both private label sales and natural/organic presence make a lot of sense, and seem aimed at precisely the correct strategy – to have a differential advantage that the competition cannot offer.
At least not exactly…since Safeway does have its “O” brand that gives it a differential advantage. But this is where the bottle needs to be joined – where there are differences, as opposed to similarities.