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Albertsons ramps up own brand expansion

New products to more than double last year’s total

Albertsons Cos. is stepping up the rollout of new own brand items and expects to double the number introduced last year.

The supermarket retailer said late Wednesday that it’s on track to launch almost 1,400 new own brand products across its store banners in 2018. New items are planned throughout the company’s private label portfolio, which includes the brands O Organics, Lucerne, Open Nature, Signature, Waterfront Bistro, Value Corner, Primo Taglio and debi lilly design.

“We’ve got a lot in the pipeline, and we’re just getting started,” Own Brands President Geoff White said in a statement.

So far this year, nearly 300 new own brand items have been released, Albertsons said. Those products include Open Nature Scandal-less ice cream, Open Nature bison top sirloin steak, Open Nature granola bars, O Organics spinach and butter lettuce, O Organics sparkling tea, Signature Select cold-brew coffee and Signature Select sparkling French lemonade.

“With our team’s unique insights across the industry, we can react faster than ever to changing consumer trends. The result is a rapid expansion of high-quality products in every department that are exclusive to Albertsons Cos.,” White added. “We’ve never been more excited about our ability to meet every shopper’s needs and sprinkle in new and exciting surprises across the store.”

Albertsons already has announced more than 450 new O Organics products and over 240 new Open Nature items thus far for 2018. In January, Albertsons said O Organics reached a milestone by becoming a $1 billion brand and that the label added about 200 new products and grew sales more than 15% last year.

In reporting fiscal 2017 results last month, Albertsons said its overall own brand sales penetration climbed 60 basis points to 23%.

“We continue to enhance our own brand offerings and increase sales of these high-quality items that are unique to our stores,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Miller stated in the company’s year-end report. Own brands are also seen as a key growth area for the planned merger with Rite Aid Corp., which is pending shareholder and regulatory approval.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. has more than 2,300 food and drug stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia under the banners Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Sav-On, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, Haggen and United Express.

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