Booming interest in health and wellness and an increasing consumer taste for private labels has been a fortuitous collision of trends for the supermarket space, with brands such as Kroger’s Simple Truth, Ahold Delhaize’s Nature’s Promise and Safeway’s O Organics all growing rapidly and helping to differentiate their parent store brands.
The trend has not been limited to chains. The 10-year-old Wild Harvest label, available in Supervalu’s owned retail stores and distributed to its thousands of independent store owners, has been “on fire” with consumers, said Anne Dament, EVP of retail, marketing and private brands, during a presentation at the wholesaler’s annual Expo in St. Paul, Minn.
Supervalu isn’t taking the momentum for granted but instead is doubling down, adding 80 new products this year, including a personal-care line launching this fall, and promoting them behind new marketing messages officials describe as “whimsical, playful and creative”—and a hit with millennial shoppers in any language.
Wild Harvest’s new tag line—"Full of Good, Free From Bad"—“tested incredibly well with millennials” and highlights the free-from aspects of the brand, said Supervalu VP of Corporate Brands Bekah Swan, during the same event. The new slogan replaces its previous line, "Live Free. Go Wild," which Swan told WGB was problematic in part because the dual meaning of “Wild” didn’t readily translate to Hispanic packaging. New Hispanic packaging and signage—“LLeno De Lo Bueno. Libre De Lo Malo”—gets a literal translation.
Wild Harvest is Supervalu’s second-largest and fastest-growing private brand, with more than 700 products across 80 categories. Nearly 70% are organic, but the brand is betting consumers will respond more strongly to the message that its products are made of simple, wholesome ingredients.
The 40-item personal-care line, for example, is free from more than 390 “undesirable” ingredients. More than 100 ingredients are excluded from Wild Harvest’s household goods and more than 140 ingredients don’t make the cut for its food lines. The personal-care line includes soaps, body wash, shampoo and lotions.
Swan, in response to a question by WGB, acknowledged there were a “handful” of categories where Wild Harvest’s growth has meant slower growth of its conventional private-label counterparts. Although that tends to be a “good” kind of cannibalism. “What we're seeing overarching is that the growth in Wild Harvest is incremental,” she said.