- ShopRite is broadening and rebranding its Wholesome Pantry and Wholesome Pantry Organic private label food brands, according to a press release from the supermarket chain.
- The retailer-owned grocery cooperative plans to add dozens of new products to the Wholesome Pantry line during the next two years, including baking supplies, condiments, pasta and meatless entrees. New organic items like kombucha and frozen breakfast bowls are also on the way.
- Private labels have taken their place as a key differentiator for food retailers, with a range of grocers recently announcing plans to refresh and expand store-branded product lines.
ShopRite’s announcement puts it in the company of a growing number of grocers taking steps to broaden the appeal of in-house brands that can boost loyalty and profit margins.
Like its competitors, ShopRite is looking to convince consumers that its house-branded products don’t require them to compromise on quality even if they may cost less. The retailer is looking to accomplish that in part by supporting its refreshed private label products with an advertising campaign that includes downloadable recipes and live cooking demonstrations on social media featuring members of its dietitian staff.
ShopRite is also unveiling a new look for the Wholesome Pantry and Wholesome Pantry Organic lines in addition to a new tagline, “Food Set Free.”
In 2019, ShopRite launched two other private label lines, Bowl & Basket and Paperbird. Bowl & Basket focuses on low-cost meal ingredients, while Paperbird encompasses a range of household products.
ShopRite’s initiative echoes steps taken by Target, which said in September that it was beefing up its Good & Gather private label line, introduced last year, with hundreds of new products. The retailer also introduced Good & Gather Signature, which focuses on higher-end items.
Deep-discount stores are looking to benefit from consumer interest in private label products, as well. Dollar General’s effort to expand in-house distribution of fresh and frozen foods is helping the retailer expand the availability of its Better for You brand, which the company expects to offer in 7,000 stores by the end of 2020, up from 6,000 in September, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Owen said during a conference in September.
Walmart, meanwhile, said in August that it was rethinking its Winemakers Selection line of private label wines. The retailer cut prices to $5 per bottle, introduced a new look and reduced the number of choices it offers consumers in a push to polish its image as a wine seller.
Once seen primarily as low-cost alternatives to national brands, private labels have emerged as a leading way for food retailers to build loyalty with consumers. An analysis conducted by the Food Industry Association (FMI) and IRI found that nearly half of consumers make decisions about where to shop based on the private label products they want to buy. This is due in part to efforts by retailers to position house brands as innovative in their own right, according to FMI.