Albertsons Cos. has leveraged its partnership with online grocery enabler Instacart to launch a virtual store showcasing its organic and natural private brands.
Called O Organics Market, the Instacart-powered e-store is designed to make it easier for customers to find and purchase organic, natural and other better-for-you food, beverages and groceries, Albertsons said Thursday. Offerings include items from Albertsons’ O Organics and Open Nature private labels and products from other brands.
The Boise, Idaho-based retailer has initially launched O Organics Market in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., but said it plans to bring the virtual store to more cities. To access O Organics Market, consumers in those markets go online to Instacart.com/O-Organics, enter their home ZIP code and begin shopping. Orders can be delivered to their door step in as soon as two hours.
Albertsons noted that O Organics Market serves a key segment of Instacart shoppers — those who want organic and natural products — and helps the retailer grow its digital footprint.
“With nearly 3,800 items from O Organics, Open Nature, and other organic and natural brands, O Organics Market is another important step in our strategy to deliver customers what they want, when they want it,” Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer at Albertsons, said in a statement. “With such a broad selection of organic and natural products, customers will be able to order from exclusive items like Open Nature Sockeye Salmon and O Organics Mission Figs to more commonplace products like Dave’s Killer Bread and Annie’s Organic Fruit Snacks.”
According to Albertsons, O Organics is the nation’s largest USDA-certified organic brand. The grocer’s Open Nature line includes natural and minimally processed products geared toward the well-being of consumers, pets and the environment. O Organics and Open Nature are sold exclusively in the company’s stores, including Safeway, Albertsons, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s and United Supermarkets, among other retail banners.
"We are excited to expand our partnership with Albertsons Cos. by powering the O Organics Market," stated Nilam Ganenthiran, chief business officer at San Francisco-based Instacart, which partnered with Albertsons for same-day online grocery delivery last November. "Their forward-thinking approach to meeting customer demand is exactly where the grocery industry is headed."
In a mid-May investor presentation, Albertsons reported that the natural and organic category has grown 19% over the past three years, with an annual growth rate of 7.8%. The category’s sales penetration across the store is 12.3%, up nearly 1% year over year. The retailer’s own-brand penetration in natural and organic stands at about 22%.
O Organics, which became a billion-dollar brand in November 2017, currently encompasses more than 1,000 items and is expected to include 1,400 items in 192 categories by the end of 2018. Now with over 400 products, Open Nature is slated to include 700 items in 108 categories by the year’s end and is projected to become a billion-dollar brand by 2022.
Albertsons has said it aims to launch almost 1,400 new own-brand products across its store banners this year, double the number introduced in 2017. New items are planned throughout the private-label portfolio, which besides O Organics and Open Nature includes the brands Lucerne, Signature, Waterfront Bistro, Value Corner, Primo Taglio and debi lilly design.
In early April, Albertsons said it’s expanding Open Nature into the nonfood realm and plans to roll out more than 240 home care items for the brand this year. And at the end of May, the grocer unveiled Signature Reserve, an ultra-premium private-label food line. Initial items include ice cream, pasta and pasta sauce, packaged coffee and loose-leaf tea.
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