Pictured above are the initial nine items/varieties in Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's new 'eatwell' brand frozen food line. [Photo Credit: Copyright, Fresh & Easy Buzz, September 2010.]
Private Brand Showcase
On September 10, Fresh & Easy Buzz reported exclusively that Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market is extending its 'eatwell' healthy foods private brand into the frozen food category.
[Read our story - September 10, 2010: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Extending its 'eatwell' Healthy Foods' Brand Into Frozen Food Category.]
Beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, September 28, the first nine 'eatwell' frozen food items (SKUs), which are ready-to-heat meal-type items, are set to hit the freezer sections in Tesco's 168 Fresh & Easy stores in California, Nevada and Arizona.
The nine items are: Sesame chicken, tortilla crusted fish, chicken alfredo, beef stroganoff, kung pao chicken, turkey lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, butternut squash ravioli, and chicken enchilada.
Along with the 'eatwell' brand items, the grocer is also adding two new packaged new frozen food items under its 'fresh&easy' brand - brown rice and thai jasmine rice.
Frozen makes three (categories) for 'eatwell'
The extension of the 'eatwell' brand into frozen foods comes shortly after Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market extended the private brand into the dry grocery category this summer, launching as its first item a canned version, 'eatwell' Turkey Chili with Beans, of its fresh-refrigerated 'eatwell' Turkey Chili. We were the first publication to report on the development in this story - August 18, 2010: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Extending 'eatwell' Healthy Foods' Private Brand Into Dry Grocery Category
Tesco's Fresh & Easy launched the 'eatwell' healthy foods brand in April of this year as a line of fresh-prepared foods items, ranging from ready-to-eat salads and sandwiches, to ready-to-heat meals and side dishes. [See - 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.]
The fresh food and grocery chain has promoted the 'eatwell' refrigerated items aggressively since the initial launch. In addition, in July, Fresh & Easy added some new items to the fresh-prepared foods line.
The extension of the 'eatwell' brand into the dry grocery category, which appears to be a test since the only item we've seen thus far is the canned chili, has been without fanfare - the grocery chain hasn't announced it's done so via a press release, for example. As far as we're aware, Fresh & Easy Buzz is the only publication to date to report on the development.
Tesco's Fresh & Easy hasn't yet announced the extension of its 'eatwell' brand into the frozen foods category. However, the SKUs are coming. In fact, many of the Fresh & Easy stores have already made room in the freezer cases for the new items, set to start arriving tomorrow.
Bulking up its frozen foods offering
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has been increasing the selection and number of manufacturer brand frozen food items it offers in its stores since earlier this year.
For example, it recently added a number of SKUs in the new P.F. Changs (like the restaurant of the same name) Home Menu Meal line to its frozen foods offering. It's also increased the variety and selection of budget-priced frozen dinners the stores merchandise, including adding a number of Banquet brand frozen meals, which like the P.F. Changs items are being promoted in this week's Fresh & Easy weekly advertising circular.
Additionally, starting tomorrow, Tesco's Fresh & Easy is adding 13 Stouffer's and Stouffer's Lean Cuisine SKUs to the freezer cases, along with the new 'eatwell' frozen food items and the new new SKUs under the 'fresh&easy' brand.
'eatwell' as Fresh & Easy's healthy foods' private brand
The extension of its 'eatwell' brand into frozen foods is a part of Fresh & Easy's bulking up of its variety and selection in the frozen foods category. But more significantly, it's part of the grocer's plan to make 'eatwell' a key private brand across all categories, similar to what it does with its flagship 'fresh&easy' brand - 'fresh&easy' being the basic private or store brand for consumables and 'eatwell' being its healthy foods' brand.
With the addition of the frozen foods category, the 'eatwell' brand will now be represented in three store product categories: Fresh-prepared foods, dry grocery and frozen foods.
In this 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 - we suggested Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market needed to move away from its then primarily one private or store brand strategy, 'fresh&easy' brand, to a multi-private brand strategy. It appears the grocer is moving in that direction.
In addition to its fresh&easy and 'eatwell' private brands, Fresh & Easy recently expanded its 'fresh&easy' 'goodness' brand, which focuses on healthy and convenient food items geared to kids. The brand is co-branded, with 'goodness' being the prominant name on the packages and 'fresh&easy' in small text at the top. Fresh & Easy Buzz was also the first publication to report on the grocer's expansion of the brand and line, along with the new package design. Read our stories on the developments here. The stories are also linked at the end of this piece.
Recent 'Private Brand Showcase' stories
September 4, 2010: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Unveils New fresh&easy 'goodness' Brand Items and Packaging
August 29, 2010: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Expanding its fresh&easy 'goodness' Co-Branded Line; Launching Numerous New Items
August 18, 2010: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Extending 'eatwell' Healthy Foods' Private Brand Into Dry Grocery Category
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 IdeaMay 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?
['Private Brand Showcase' is a regular feature in Fresh & Easy Buzz. In it we report on, offer analysis about, and discuss the various private or store brand developments at Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, and by and at other food and grocery retailing chains and independents.]