GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer here plans to have an additional 50 private-label organics on store shelves by September, SN has learned.
That will increase the number of its new Meijer Organics-brand products to 200, according to Meijer's Healthy Living senior grocery buyer, Scott Chambers.
Chambers declined to reveal what the new products will be, but he said consumers have voiced interest in additional flavors and sizes of products currently on the shelves.
“They want a deeper selection,” Chambers told SN.
Introduced in February, Meijer Organics was designed as a crossover line for people who may have heard about organics, but didn't purchase them because of price or another reason. Positioned as equal to or better than national-brand equivalents, the line is priced at 10% to 20% less than NBEs.
“People don't have to sacrifice a lot to buy Meijer Organics,” said Chambers.
For this reason, Meijer Organics has brought incremental sales into the business, he said.
All products have “USDA Organic” certification. Selections include juices, peanut butter, ice cream, frozen pizza, pasta, snacks, soup and beverages. Each is integrated within its respective category. Strong movers have been staples such as milk and bread, as well as products for children.
About once a month, select products are discounted and featured in the weekly circular and in special displays in the center store.
The expansion of Meijer Organics comes at a time when organic sales are experiencing strong growth. Organic food sales totaled nearly $17 billion in 2006, up 22% from 2005, according to a study by the Organic Trade Association, Greenfield, Mass. That puts organics at 3% of all retail sales of food and beverages, up from 2.5% in 2005.
About three-quarters of the U.S. population buy organic products at least occasionally, up from 55% in 2000, according to the Hartman Group, Bellevue, Wash. About 23% buy organic products at least weekly.