- Hy-Vee has launched a gluten-free private label line called Good Graces, the grocer announced on Thursday.
- The line, which is available at all of the Midwestern grocer’s stores, currently has more than 30 products spanning a range of center store items, including frozen pizza, cheddar puffs, granola, pastas and soups. Sixty more products are in development, the grocer said.
- Hy-Vee has positioned the line as an affordable option that makes a gluten-free diet more attainable for customers.
Good Graces is coming at a time when Hy-Vee and other grocers are focusing more of their private label efforts on specialty and better-for-you products.
The line, which is available in the retailer's HealthMarket store section and online, is responding to rising consumer demand for gluten-free products, Darren Baty, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for Hy-Vee, said in the announcement.
Hy-Vee is already planning to expand Good Graces, noting that baking items such as almond flour, coconut flour and coconut sugar and six different baking mixes will be available under the line starting mid-November. To tap into the holiday season, the line will also include items like stuffing, French fried onions and condensed soups.
Private label sales have increased sharply in recent years, and that momentum continued into the pandemic. In the grocery channel, own brands increased nearly 15% from 2019 to 2020, reaching $64.3 billion, per IRI data cited by the Food Industry Association (FMI). In a recent report, FMI found that 91% of surveyed food retailers and manufacturers are planning to significantly or moderately ramp up their private label efforts in the next two years.
Hy-Vee's Good Graces line is tapping into the intersection of price and desire for health-focused items. A recent FMI survey found that 39% of consumers said they want to see less expensive options, while 32% want healthier versions of products they already buy. Seventeen percent of companies in the private brands industry surveyed by FMI said they are catering to special diets, such as Keteo, Paleo and gluten-free, the report noted.
Other grocers also have gluten-free products under their private label lines. Last year, Aldi launched its gluten-free LiveGFree line. Southeastern Grocers includes gluten-free products under its Naturally Better line, as does Raley's with its Purely Made line and Associated Wholesale Grocers with its Clearly by Best Choice line. Raley's called out gluten-free among its products' attributes when it revamped the design of its private labels and expanded Purely Made in 2019.