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Supervalu Launches Wild Harvest National Organic, Natural Foods Brand

Progressive Grocer
April 10, 2008


Although its short-lived tenure with organic natural supermarkets
failed to meet expectations, Supervalu is delivering on a promise it
made to apply what it learned from the experience and utilize it
elsewhere in the organization, with the national launch of a new
house brand line of organic and natural products.

The new proprietary Wild Harvest brand, which will cover a wide
assortment of products across numerous food categories, will make
its debut this month in the aisles of both the company's corporately
owned grocery banners, and the independently owned supermarkets its
also supplies, Supervalu spokeswoman Haley Meyer told Progressive Grocer.

Although the Minneapolis-based retailer's rollout of a house brand
organic and natural line trails other national and regional
conventional industry counterparts in launching a signature natural
and organics line, its selection is said to be among the largest and
most competitively priced. It also represents the first major brand
initiative for Supervalu since its historic acquisition of select
Albertsons properties in June 2006.

Initially slated to feature roughly 150 items -- ranging from fresh
foods like milk, eggs, meat and fresh produce to center store
stalwarts like pastas and sauces, cookies, crackers, cereal and
juice - the line is positioned to meet or beat competitors' private
label organic prices by approximately 15 percent, the grocer said.

Long term, Supervalu officials envision that the brand will include
some 250 to 300 products across various categories.

"With the Wild Harvest brand, we're focused on helping consumers
'organify their world' by delivering a wide assortment of
affordable, fresh, healthy and wholesome foods at their primary
grocery shopping destination," said Adam Graham, Wild Harvest brand manager.

"Now, the entire family meal can be organic - at a lower cost - from
products conveniently available at a local SUPERVALU-owned
supermarket," Graham said.

Supervalu said it launched the new line in response to surging
consumer demand for organic and natural foods, a market that has
grown 10 to 15 percent annually over the past 15 years across all
retail channels, according to 2006 Organic Industry Trends Data,
Cannondale Associates, and 2007 Supervalu Organization Opportunity
Study by AC Nielsen.

The launch comes just two months after Supervalu abruptly shuttered
its Sunflower Markets in Columbus, Ohio, Chicago and Indianapolis,
effectively retiring the retail format. The smallish-footprint
Sunflower banner was designed to be easier to navigate and shop than
larger conventional stores, and positioned as a less-expensive
organic food option.

At one point, Supervalu had planned to open as many as 50 Sunflower
Markets by 2011, but ultimately scrapped those plans in a bid to cut
its losses and move on.

"The Wild Harvest launch demonstrates Supervalu's renewed focus on
being a more customer-centric organization," said Duncan Mac
Naughton, Supervalu's e.v.p./merchandising and marketing, noting
significant research and consumer insights that went into the
development of the brand.

Pledging to adhere to the strictest definitions of organic and
natural, all Wild Harvest products contain no artificial colors,
preservatives, or flavors.

Supervalu said to populate the line it has placed a high priority on
collaborating with suppliers and farmers who emphasize sustainable
farming/manufacturing practices and conservation, enhancing
environmental quality for generations. Further, the line is
certified to be organically grown without the use of chemical
fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.

The brand's integrated marketing campaign, a tagline urging
consumers to "Organify Your World," debuts Sunday, April 13, and
includes print, TV, radio, and online advertisements, as well as
direct marketing.

Supervalu operates 2,450 retail grocery locations operating under
the Acme, Albertsons, bigg's, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's,
Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw's/Star Market, Shop 'n Save, and Shoppers
Food & Pharmacy brands.

 

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