How Target’s simplifying its food offer with new brand launch

Stewart Samuel
Program Director - Canada

Date : 19 August 2019

Target is launching a new private label food brand, Good & Gather, which will become the main spearhead range in the category. This reveals a renewed ambition to get after its customers’ food spend, in-store and online.

Phasing out Archers Farms and Simply Balanced

Next month, Target will launch the Good & Gather range, with 650 products introduced into stores. This will be ramped up to over 2,000 products by late next year. The introduction will see the existing Archer Farms and Simply Balanced ranges phased out, with the number of products under the Market Pantry brand scaled back.

This will significantly simplify the food offer for Target’s customers given a degree of overlap between previous ranges and is a major step forward in its food journey. While it should be relatively easy to convert former Simply Balanced and Archer Farms customers, it will need to emphasise the brand benefits, including the value proposition, where there will no longer be a Market Pantry alternative. 

Source: Kroger

Tapping into health, wellness and transparency trends

The Good & Gather range has been developed around the idea of ‘good’. Products are made without artificial flavors, synthetic colors, artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. It will also include staples like milk and eggs. Featuring a bold and contemporary design, by being the main brand at Target, it will have a major visual impact at shelf. Organic products will also be clearly highlighted. Here, the brand draws on many of the strengths of the Simply Balanced range. 

This leans into consumers’ interests around health, wellness and transparency, trends which have been fueling the growth of many startup food brands. This aligns with its launch earlier this year of Everspring, a range of household consumables developed with sustainability in mind.

Combined food operations, merchandising and supply chain

This is one of the first major initiatives under the leadership of Stephanie Lundquist, executive vice president, Food & Beverage, who was appointed earlier this year. While Target has launched over 20 new general merchandise and clothing private brands over the last two years, the food products offer has been relatively untouched. Under Lundquist, food operations, merchandising and supply chain have been combined for the first time, enabling a more coherent approach to its development.

Creating a clearer role for food

Although Target has been delivering improved results in food and beverage over the last 18 months, the retailer has still been figuring out its role for the business, and for its shoppers. The retailer has benefitted from investments in the supply chain and improving the in-store experience. However, the food offer has been caught between being much broader than a top-up range, while Target itself has not always been viewed as a destination for the full weekly shop.

Serious about food and the online opportunity

The launch of this range indicates a much more serious attempt to get after shoppers’ food spend. This includes both store-based customers and the online opportunity. Target has the potential to take a much bigger share in online grocery, given the infrastructure and fulfillment options it has developed. This includes same-day delivery through its subsidiary, Shipt, and store pickup options from its network of 1,800 stores. It also operates Target Restock, a two-day shipping service for food and consumable products.

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