- Albertsons is updating its Soleil private label line of sparkling water with new packaging and four new flavors, the supermarket chain announced on Monday.
- The grocer is using designs created by seven artists for the packaging on the drinks, which now comes in mango, raspberry lime, tangerine and watermelon in addition to 13 existing varieties.
- The refresh comes amid an effort by Albertsons to expand the proportion of its sales of its in-house labels, which yield higher profit margins for the retailer than national brands.
Albertsons' effort to add buzz to its Soleil line of carbonated beverages reflects a broader push by the grocer to generate excitement about its private labels among consumers.
In addition to adding new flavors and freshening up the packaging used for the beverages with summer-oriented imagery, Albertsons is working with Spotify to promote the product line. Starting this month, the designs and flavors will be part of a promotion known as Sip to the Beat, which includes three curated music playlists. The relaunch is designed to position the drinks as "a healthier beverage alternative to regular soda," Albertsons Senior Director of Brands and Marketing Lisa Mirae said in a statement.
Albertsons, which produces its Soleil sparkling water at plants it operates in California, Colorado and Washington state, emphasizes the drinks do not contain added sugars or sweeteners, artificial flavors, calories or sodium. The beverage line is part of a family of brands Albertsons calls Signature, which is one of four billion-dollar labels the retailer owns.
The relaunch of Albertsons' in-house sparkling water line, which the grocer originally unveiled in 2016, follows the grocer's announcement last month that it has added sustainable wines from California-based Kalyana to its portfolio of private label alcohol. In July, Albertsons expanded the selection of frozen desserts it sells under its Own Brands portfolio.
Speaking with investors during an earnings call last month, Albertsons President and CEO Vivek Sankaran said the company is focused on raising the profile of products it sells under brands it owns. Private label products generate gross margins that are about 10% above what national brands bring in, and the grocer hopes penetration of its house brands will expand to 30% in the coming years from its current 25% level, Sankaran said.
Other retailers have also been taking steps to expand their private label offerings. In April, Amazon launched Aplenty, a private label line that will eventually include hundreds of items including, cookies, salty snacks, frozen foods and pantry staples.
In March, Target announced Favorite Day, a line of snacks and sweet treats designed to complement the retailer's sprawling Good & Gather assortment of more than 2,000 items. Target added a premium private label line known as Good & Gather Signature last September.