Target, Whole Foods, ShopRite and other retailers look to upgrade their store brands
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Ask most consumers about retailers' store brands, and no doubt a handful of similar adjectives come to mind. Plain. Boring. Mediocre. Inexpensive.
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Now, many of the nation's biggest retailers — including Target, CVS, Whole Foods and ShopRite — are out to change that image. They are seeking to accomplish a delicate balancing act, projecting upscale charm and a healthier lifestyle, while keeping the budget-friendly prices. Sometimes it's a question of the name. Sometimes it's the packaging. Sometimes it's the quality of the product. Sometimes it's a combination of all three.
CVS HEALTH CORP.
For these retailers, the goal is to create a product line that looks, feels, tastes and smells premium, while undercutting on price because they aren't stuck with the fat advertising costs of the major labels.
Target's Good & Gather Signature Frozen Pizza line is a perfect example of a store brand gone upscale. Before starting the line, Target says, it surveyed 5,000 customers and did internal taste testing aimed at mimicking Italian Neapolitan-style pizza. The names bestowed upon each pizza sound special, too, like Good & Gather Select Wood-Fired Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza. The product description on the box says the crust is "hand-stretched" and the dough is leavened for 24 hours. The "artfully crafted" pizza has the "irresistible flavors of Naples, Italy, " the box claims. The messaging on the box reminds cons]umers that, like all Good & Gather foods and beverages, there are no artificial colors or preservatives.
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The company says the pizza typically retails for $5.99 for a 17.5-ounce box. By comparison, a 15.5-oz California Pizza Kitchen Crispy Thin Crust Margherita Frozen Pizza is generally priced at $6.99 at Target.
Not the ’70s
Who would have thought that store brands — also known as private-label brands — would ever get so frilly?