To cater to consumer demand and keep up with competitors, SpartanNash has introduced a private brand called Open Acres that will be used across fresh departments.
“This new brand will be rolled out during the upcoming year featuring items in meat, deli, bakery and produce,” David Staples, EVP and COO, told investors during SpartanNash’s first quarter conference call Thursday. “The introduction of the brands closes the gap in our portfolio of private brands that existed in our non-Michigan footprint. These products will deliver national brand or better quality and a significant savings to our consumers in both company-owned and independent store locations.”
In a YouTube video, SpartanNash outlined its rationale for creating the brand and some of its key attributes.
“We know that our customers today more than ever are focused on our fresh offerings,” the video says, citing the growth of farmers’ markets, Sprouts Farmers Market, Fresh Thyme and 365 by Whole Foods.
The wholesaler conducted research with consumers to see what they might be looking for in a fresh-focused private brand. SpartanNash notes it has a “low presence” of fresh private label, compared to competitors like Kroger, Hy-Vee, Meijer and Aldi, whose fresh brands are a point of differentiation and customer loyalty.
When searching for a name for the brand, the wholesaler found that the word “fresh” was overused.
“Our objective was to discover a name that created a fresh affiliation with the customer,” the video says. Consumers associated the Open Acres name with fresh, farm, produce, open, free range and organic.
SpartanNash states that while the brand is meant to connote savings for consumers, it’s not positioned as an entry price point brand. Open Acres is also not about natural or organic; the wholesaler’s Full Circle brand fills that demand.
At the same time, Open Acres does play into consumers’ desire for minimally processed foods. “We are not moving our bacon/hot dogs/lunch meat categories to Open Acres,” the video says.
The wholesaler hopes to attract one type of customer in particular with this brand: “It’s designed with promotional materials to introduce it to your consumers, particularly focused on Millennials,” the video says.
Promotional materials include a different color and tagline for each department. For example, the logo for produce is highlighted in green with the tagline “picked fresh,” while the seafood logo is highlighted in blue with the tagline “caught fresh.”
“This color scheme is designed to create visuals with our customers and visual cues to bring them back to these departments,” the video says.
SpartanNash says Open Acres is covered by its 200% Freshness Guarantee, meaning if a customer is not satisfied the wholesaler will issue a refund equal to the cost of the product plus the cost of a replacement from any brand.
See the full video below:
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