Two interesting pieces of news from Target Superstores this week:
1. A new organic and natural line of store brand food items is being introduced this month. The Simply Balanced line will include organic and “all natural” foods. About 250 items, from granola to snacks to juice, are coming in under this umbrella, intended to capture the attention of health conscious shoppers.
These developments were not something one would expect to hear from a low cost retailer just 5 years ago. But in a sign that the times are changing, even low cost retailers need to position themselves as health minded.
“approximately 40 percent of the Simply Balanced products are USDA certified organic, and the vast majority of products are made without genetically modified organisms (GMOs). As part of Target’s commitment to wellness, the Simply Balanced collection will eliminate all GMO ingredients by the end of 2014 and Target has set a goal to increase organic food offerings by 25 percent by end of fiscal year 2017.”
This is no altruistic move. Target’s marketing department is seeing the growth in organic food sales, growing at twice the pace of any other food category, and obviously wants a piece of that action.
Watch out Whole Foods Market? Not quite yet, but it’s encouraging to see more and more retailers offering these choices. It creates a ripple effect both horizontally in the supermarket industry as well as down the supply chain, encouraging more farmers to invest in returning their lands to organic practices and sustainable agriculture.