Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Extending 'eatwell' Healthy Foods' Private Brand Into Dry Grocery Category

Private Brand Showcase

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has extended its 'eatwell' healthy foods private brand from the fresh-prepared foods category into the dry grocery category.

The first dry grocery category item in the Fresh & Easy stores is 'eatwell' Turkey Chili with Beans, in 15oz cans. The product is similar to the Health Valley and Shelton's brands of canned Turkey Chili with Beans, both of which have been on the market for decades. The item retails for $1.99.

As we reported in these two stories earlier this year - April 1, 2010: Tesco's Fresh & Easy to Launch New 'EatWell' Brand Lower-Sodium, Fewer-Calorie Prepared Foods Line and April 2, 2010: Fresh & Easy's New 'EatWell' Healthier Fresh, Prepared Foods Brand to Hit Stores on April 7 - Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market launched its 17 item line of 'eatwell' refrigerated ready meals, side dishes, sandwiches, salads, soups, chili and sushi on April 7 of this year. In July, the fresh foods and grocery chain added some new fresh foods items to the 'eatwell' line.

Thus far the canned Turkey Chili with Beans is the only 'eatwell' brand item in the dry grocery category (Tesco' Fresh & Easy calls it the ambient category, using the British grocery industry term) we've spotted in the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market stores. However, our sources tell us additional dry grocery category items under the 'eatwell' brand are in the pipeline.

One of the original refrigerated, fresh-prepared foods items introduced in April under the 'eatwell' brand is a Turkey Chili with Beans. Sound familiar?

The refrigerated, ready-to-heat and eat Turkey Chili with Beans, which comes in a round plastic container, contains turkey, onions, carrots, tomato, kidney beans and bell peppers, along with various herbs and spices. It retails for $1.99, just like the new canned version.

The two chili versions - the refrigerated and canned - have essentially the same ingredients, as one might expect, with just a few minor changes based on one version being fresh and the other canned.

It will be interesting to see what Fresh & Easy does with its 'eatwell' brand in the dry grocery category.

Currently the fresh food and grocery chain uses the fresh&easy brand for all of its private or store brand dry grocery and perishable items (including organic and healthy foods items), with the exception of using 'Mothers Joy' for a line of price-focused breakfast cereals.

The brands 'fresh&easy' and 'eatwell' are used for fresh-prepared foods.

Fresh & Easy also has used the 'Buxted' brand to a limited degree on a few value-priced fresh poultry and meat items. However, the grocer appears to be phasing out private brand 'Buxted,' which isn't a surprise since the brand is owned by its former meat supplier, 2 Sisters Food Group, which Tesco's Fresh & Easy bought out earlier this year. [See - June 20, 2010: NLRB Judge Rules Against Key Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Supplier '2 Sisters Food Group' in Labor Relations Violations Case and June 21, 2010: The Missing Link in Tesco's Purchase of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Meat Supplier '2 Sisters Food Group']

In a strategy session piece in 2009 - May 18, 2009: Strategy Session: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Needs to Move From its One Store Brand Fits All Strategy to A 'Three Brand' Store Brand Strategy - we suggested Tesco needed to move into a three brand strategy for its private brand efforts. Key in our suggestion is that Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market have a store brand other than 'fresh&easy' for its natural/organic products category and healthy foods category (or a separate brand for each).

In April Fresh & Easy introduced 'eatwell,' following our strategic blueprint in part. Now the grocer has started extending its 'eatwell' healthy foods brand into the dry grocery category, starting with the canned Turkey Chili with Beans.

Since we haven't seen any additional 'eatwell' dry grocery items other than the Turkey Chili with Beans so far, it appears Tesco's Fresh & Easy is taking the brand extension slow, and perhaps even testing the response to the item. After all, it's unusual for a grocer otherwise not to introduce numerous items under a private brand at the same time.

However, since it already has numerous refrigerated items in the 'eatwell' brand, we suspect Fresh & Easy Neighborhood market is testing the 'eatwell' brand waters in dry grocery before rolling out additional items. Stay tuned.

Recent Private Brand Showcase Features in Fresh & Easy Buzz:

July 21, 2010: 'Sipsational' & 'Quenchtastic': Safeway Introduces New 21-Flavor Line of Soft Drinks Under 'refreshe' Private Brand

July 17, 2010: New Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Clock-Shaped Private Brand Candy Line Hits the Shelves at Fresh & Easy

July 12, 2010: Tesco Launches Private Brand 'Lasagne Sandwich' in the UK Today...With No Apologies to The Earl of Sandwich

June 24, 2010: New Fresh & Easy Clock Logo-Shaped Candies Are A Pretty Sweet Idea

May 11, 2010: Tesco Might Want to Get 'fresh & naked' at 'fresh & easy'

April 2, 2010: Fresh & Easy's New 'EatWell' Healthier Fresh, Prepared Foods Brand to Hit Stores on April 7

April 11, 2010: When it Comes to Fresh, Prepared Foods, New York City's Duane Reade is Simply 'deLish' for Walgreens

February 22, 2010: Food, Drug Retailers With Stores in California, Nevada & Arizona Honored for Private Label-Store Brands' Excellence

May 18, 2009 piece - Strategy Session: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Needs to Move From its One Store Brand Fits All Strategy to A 'Three Brand' Store Brand Strategy

March 9, 2009: An English Village, A British Fresh Chicken Brand and Tesco Fresh & Easy's New 'Buxted' Discount Fresh Meat Brand: What Do All Three Have in Common?

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