Store-brand Strategies

COMPANY-BRAND natural and organic products continued to gain critical mass in 2006. Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats Markets added 385 new store-brand items to its line of natural and organic foods, holistic supplements and body care products. Wild Oats also penned agreements with Price Chopper Supermarkets, Schenectady, N.Y., and Pathmark Stores, Carteret, N.J., to distribute Wild Oats' private-label

COMPANY-BRAND natural and organic products continued to gain critical mass in 2006.

Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats Markets added 385 new store-brand items to its line of natural and organic foods, holistic supplements and body care products.

Wild Oats also penned agreements with Price Chopper Supermarkets, Schenectady, N.Y., and Pathmark Stores, Carteret, N.J., to distribute Wild Oats' private-label line in their stores.

“We've decided to catapult our natural and organic offerings with a brand that's highly recognizable,” Price Chopper spokeswoman Mona Golub told SN last month. The retailer merchandises its own store-brand line called Price Chopper Naturals.

Organic peanut butter, pizza and frozen fruit were among the 313 private-label products Roundy's, Milwaukee, Wis., added to its private-label line this year.

Minneapolis-based Target also announced plans to introduce organic groceries under its Archer Farms company-brand at the company's SuperTarget stores and select discount locations. It's to include whole-grain pizzas, pastas and fruit strips.

Ethnic lines, like the one marketed by Eden Prairie, Minn.-based wholesaler/retailer Supervalu, were also expanded.

The retailer almost doubled the size of its Tex-Mex offering when it added 30 items, including authentic spices and peach salsa, to its Carlita private-label line.

Lower-than-necessary price points continued to contribute to sub-par consumer perceptions about company-brand products, according to the IRI's study: “Understanding Emerging Trends and Key Success Factors in Private Label.”

Grocers were strongly advised to price items to quality.