Albertsons Cos.' Private Label Portfolio Reaches New Heights
Albertsons Cos. has been steadily adding items to its private label brand portfolio over the past couple years, with sales penetration reaching its highest rate to date at 25.3% in the first quarter of fiscal 2019 (ended June 15), according to a statement shared with the Path to Purchase Institute.
In 2018, Albertsons Cos. introduced roughly 1,100 new products to its own brands; many from O Organics and Open Nature. Those two brands have grown 11.5% over the last year and now represent 23.6% of the total natural and organic sales at Albertsons Cos.’ stores.
O Organics reached sales of $1 billion in 2018, and has grown to encompass over 1,200 products, including nearly 300 that were introduced in 2018 in produce, dairy, meat, deli, snack and baby categories, president of Albertsons own brands Geoff White told Institute sister-brand Store Brands earlier this year. The line also recently extended to include laundry detergent as well as compostable coffee pods.
Open Nature underwent a redesign in 2018 that included a new logo, introduced 175 new products in the past 52 weeks and is still on track to becoming the company’s fifth $1 billion brand. The new additions aim to more sturdily position the brand as an ideal option for health-conscious, sustainable-seeking shoppers – a rapidly growing demographic. New items include a full line of sun care SKUs that is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, reef-conscious, as well as mineral-based, with zinc oxide as the active ingredient. It also now offers Aloe vera gel.
Other new additions to the lineup span:
- Open Nature pure castile soap, which launched in the spring in lavender and peppermint scents. The soap is natural, 100% biodegradable, and made with natural oils, no harsh detergents or foaming agents, and no animal testing.
- Five new styles of Open Nature wellness teas including “Happy Tummy.”
- Open Nature "scandal-less" ice cream additions of six new flavors including birthday cake and mint ice; all of which are 270 calories per pint.
- Open Nature pet food, which launched in 2018 along with baby and Safer Choice Certified house cleaning products.
Throughout July, Albertsons Cos. chains elevated Open Nature with promotions and activity across touchpoints including in email blasts, circulars, chain websites and mobile applications, plus a heavily in-store merchandising presence. An influx of floostrands, dump bins and violators stock and promote the brand and its new food and non-food additions.
A July 3 email blast promoting the retailer’s delivery service promised shoppers one free Open Nature item with purchases of at least $99 with code "freeopennature" at checkout. The missive spotlighted a few Open Nature SKUs along with other private label items and deals. A similar email blast on July 11 promised a “free Open Nature snacking item” with purchase of the same amount, while another Open Nature-themed missive on July 8 corralled Just for U coupons and deals for the brand.
Chain websites also underwent a redesign earlier this year, and now have a dedicated section on the home page to “Brands You Trust,” spotlighting the retailers Open Nature, O Organics, Signature Select and Lucerne private labels.
According to the company, consumers can expect to see its own brands, particularly Open Nature, expand its footprint in categories it recently entered, including pet food, wellness products for adults and children, and hygiene products. “One thing the team loves doing is sprinkling seasonal surprises in the store across the portfolio, and we expect Open Nature to get some of that special attention during the holiday season,” the emailed statement noted.
Albertsons is also updating its Signature Select brand and adding more than 300 items to the label this year.
NOTE: Path to Purchase Institute members can view more private label images from Albertsons at p2pi.org. Members also have access to more than 2,700 images and 200 articles about marketing and merchandising activity at Albertsons, along with a full Retailer Profile outlining the chain’s operations and strategies.