- UNFI is updating Wild Harvest, its organic-focused private label line, with a new logo and packaging designed to highlight the brand's emphasis on wholesome ingredients that are familiar to shoppers, the grocery distributor and retailer announced Tuesday.
- The company is also adding four plant-based proteins to Wild Harvest — representing the brand's entry into the rapidly growing category — and plans to expand the assortment of produce it sells under the brand, said UNFI Chief Marketing Officer Amanda Helming.
- UNFI's decision to give Wild Harvest a new look reflects an effort by the company to sharpen its image as a supplier of foods that are healthy, appetizing and easy for shoppers to find on the shelf.
The brand refresh is intended to emphasize to shoppers that products carrying the Wild Harvest name are in step with changes that have taken place in the organic space since 2014, the last time UNFI updated the brand's visual treatment, Helming said in an interview.
The new packaging is designed to help consumers identify health-focused attributes of products carrying the Wild Harvest name, such as gluten-free or Non-GMO Project Verified.
Wild Harvest includes about 400 food SKUs, 70% of which are organic, according to the announcement. The brand is the No. 2 private label brand in UNFI's portfolio of 18 in-house labels, behind Essential Everyday, and generated about $112 million in sales during the past 52 weeks, according to Helming.
UNFI wants Wild Harvest to resonate with people who place a premium on knowing in products they buy, and concluded that it needed to develop a new look to help accomplish that goal, Helming said.
"Consumers shop with their eyes. [The brand] can't look old and dated and like we haven't thought about it when we actually have, which is the beauty of this rebrand," said Helming. "We just are going to use the packaging to tell that story."
UNFI, which runs dozens of Cub Foods and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy stores in addition to its distribution business, will roll out the updated design across existing and new products during the next 18 months, starting with the debut of plant-based burger patties, breakfast patties, grinds and meatballs at the Natural Products Expo West trade show this month.
"I want us to keep pushing the envelope when it comes to not just the look and feel, but the product itself, making sure we're meeting consumer needs that maybe we haven't met in the past, and helping our retailers do that in an efficient manner," Helming said.
Helming, who joined UNFI in mid-2020 from UNO Restaurants, said UNFI is paying particularly close attention to the imagery it will use on Wild Harvest products going forward.
"A huge component of [this] is the photography on the package making it really craveable and delicious-looking," she said. "I know that from my former life in restaurants, if you're going to do a huge billboard of a breakfast sandwich, you want that thing just to look like you can't wait to take a turn off that exit and right into that drive-thru."