Whole Foods, Safeway Store Brands Enjoy Positive Online Buzz

A J.D. Power and Associates’ analysis of 50,000 blog entries related to store brands over the course of a year revealed that 73% of comments made about Whole Foods private-label products were positive.

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — A J.D. Power and Associates’ analysis of 50,000 blog entries related to store brands over the course of a year revealed that 73% of comments made about Whole Foods private-label products were positive. That’s the highest percentage achieved by any food retailers’ store brand. Researchers also measured neutral and negative entries.

With 45% of comments related to its store brands being positive, Safeway took the No. 2 spot, followed by Trader Joe’s (41%), Sam’s Club (40%) and Kroger (39%).

“Whole Foods drew positive buzz for its higher-end flavors and tastes,” said Janet Eden-Harris, vice president of J.D. Power and Associates’ Web Intelligence. “Condiments from regular grocery stores aren’t necessarily regarded very highly, but Whole Foods condiments definitely are.”

Authors noted interesting flavors like Roasted Chipotle Salsa and Aged Balsamic Vinegrette, she said.

Safeway’s positive buzz was driven, in large part, by its O Organics brand. “It’s been really well received by consumers looking for healthier options,” noted Harris.

Organic private labels from Kroger and Trader Joe’s also received a lot of positive attention.

“We not only saw that consumers regarded these products positively, but they’re actually willing to pay a premium for them,” Harris said.

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