- Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a Midwest specialty grocer, has introduced a line of specially designed, reusable canvas grocery tote bags, according to a post on My Private Brands. The collection is a nod to the six states where the grocer operates and includes six distinct, state-inspired designs that will be sold exclusively at stores in their respective states.
- The bags, designed by branding agency The Creative Pack, incorporate elements of each state’s unique culture, history, sights and locale while maintaining a cohesive look and feel across the collection. Each bag also includes the Fresh Thyme logo in the top left corner.
- A spokesperson for Fresh Thyme confirmed in an email to Food Dive that the bags are currently for sale in stores and are priced at $6.99 each. Fresh Thyme currently has locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Fresh Thyme told Food Dive in an email that the bags are a new way for the grocer to connect with its shoppers. While the design does include Fresh Thyme’s logo and branding elements, the goal of the bags, according to a case study from The Creative Pack, is to play up the distinguishing traits of each state.
In launching this marketing piece, Fresh Thyme demonstrates an understanding of the local communities where it operates, which gives a less commercial feel to its branding efforts and makes a connection with consumers. This is meant to create a feeling of state pride and, at the same time, shopper loyalty. Because of the thoughtful design and downplayed branding, these bags have a special, high-quality feel, and shoppers will probably use them even outside of their shopping trips — which can result in raised awareness among people who aren’t yet Fresh Thyme customers.
Fresh Thyme hasn’t launched this type of specialty grocery bag before, but earlier this year the grocer did partner with Bags 4 My Cause to create reusable shopping bags for $2.99 that would also donate $1 to a nonprofit organization.
While a majority of grocers now offer their own reusable bags for sale in response to a move toward plastic bag bans nationwide, only a few have introduced specialty bags. Earlier this year, H-E-B released $2 limited edition reusable grocery bags as a tribute to the late singer Selena Quintanilla, and the bags have long been sold out. Natural Grocers recently began carrying Lotus Trolley Bags, a popular, upscale reusable bag designed by a family-owned company in California. The bags go for $35 for a set of four at Natural Grocers, though the grocery company is not the exclusive supplier.
Though offering a high-end grocery tote like this is not necessarily a massive initiative, it is a smart branding move that customers enjoy, and it gives the retailer one more point of engagement with its shoppers.