Wakefern Food Corp. is rolling out a redesigned and expanded lineup of its better-for-you Wholesome Pantry and Wholesome Pantry Organic brands at ShopRite and The Fresh Grocer supermarkets.
The rebranding brings a cleaner, simpler logo and package design plus a new tagline — “Food Set Free” — that accentuates Wholesome Pantry’s free-from product standards, which include clean ingredients and no artificial additives or preservatives, Wakefern said Tuesday. Wholesome Pantry Organic offers the same standards but with a USDA Organic certification. All Wholesome Pantry Organic products are deemed as non-GMO under the USDA’s National Organic Program, the company noted.
As part of the brand relaunch, Wakefern plans to roll out more than 100 new Wholesome Pantry items — such as nut butters, organic fruits and vegetables and packaged salads — to store shelves starting in early October. Wholesome Pantry products are made to offer quality equal to or better than national brands and are located in most departments, including center store, frozen, produce, dairy and meat.
Wholesome Pantry products are sold at nearly 280 ShopRite stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania and will be available at The Fresh Grocer’s dozen stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Chris Skyers, VP of own brands at Wakefern Food Corp. (Photo courtesy of Wakefern)
“We’re thrilled to be introducing a bold new look for this beloved brand,” Chris Skyers, vice president of own brands at Wakefern, said in a statement. “Since its debut four years ago, the Wholesome Pantry line has offered delicious, free-from and organic products that are both budget-friendly and accessible. Now we’ve taken it to the next level, updating the brand with even more innovative products that we’re confident our shoppers are going to love.”
Other new Wholesome Pantry offerings will include organic kombucha, in flavors such as ginger lemon and coconut watermelon elderberry, as well as organic frozen breakfast bowls designed to provide a quick, well-balanced meal to start the day, according to Wakefern. The company said ShopRite plans to add dozens of new Wholesome Pantry products over the next 24 months, including baking, condiments, dry pasta, grains, snacks, seafood and meatless entrees. Besides in stores, the items can be purchased via ShopRite’s online shopping service, ShopRite from Home.
Wakefern plans to support the Wholesome Pantry rebranding with a digital marketing campaign led by the “Food Set Free” tagline. As part of the effort, customers will be able to download online recipe suggestions and view live cooking demonstrations on ShopRite’s corporate Facebook and Instagram accounts. The demos also will feature members of ShopRite’s team of dietitians.
“For customers looking for organic or better-for-you options, our Wholesome Pantry line is a great solution that checks a lot of boxes when it comes to feeling good about the meals you serve yourself and your family,” commented Natalie Menza-Crowe, director of health and wellness at Wakefern. “We’re excited about Wholesome Pantry's refreshed look and feel and can’t wait to help our customers create delicious recipes by incorporating these items into their favorite meals.”
Though Wakefern introduced Wholesome Pantry in 2016, the company kicked off a major expansion of ShopRite’s private-label roster late last year with the debut of two new, affordably price flagship brands, Bowl & Basket (grocery and fresh foods) and Paperbird (household products). Plans call for the two brands to encompass more than 3,500 products by the end of 2021 and phase out the previous ShopRite, ShopRite Kitchen, ShopRite Trading Company and Cape Gourmet brands.
Wakefern’s Price Rite Marketplace banner expanded its Bowl & Basket and Paperbird offerings at its 59 stores in early summer. Overall, Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern, the nation’s largest retailer-owned cooperative, has 50 members who independently own and operate 359 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.