Walmart Stores, Inc. has been busy creating and launching new fresh food product lines under its "Marketside" private brand, along with adding new SKUs to its existing lines, since we last reported on and wrote about the introduction of a new line of "Marketside"artisan breads and related baked goods in September. [Read the story - September 9, 2010: Walmart Introduces 'Marketside' Brand Packaged Fresh-Baked Breads, Sub Rolls and Chocolate Chunk Cookie.]
Since then, Walmart has launched three notable new "Marketside" lines: a line of ready-to-use refrigerated dips (for chips, crackers, fruits and veggies); a cook-in-three-minute fresh, refrigerated pasta line; and a companion line of ready-to-heat fresh-prepared pasta sauces.
Dips: The extensive line features numerous SKUs, including Guacamole; a range of ranch dips like Chipotle Ranch and Buttermilk Ranch; Bleu Cheese; a cream cheese and vanilla bean fruit dip; and others.
Fresh Pasta: The "Marketside" line of fresh, refrigerated pasta includes numerous pasta shapes, along with ravioli and tortelloni varieties filled with meat and cheese, like the Three Cheese Tortelloni pictured above. All of the fresh pasta varieties take three minutes to boil.
Pasta Sauce: The "Marketside" refrigerated, fresh-prepared pasta sauces come in tomato-based and cream varieties, as well as pesto. The cream-based sauce varieties include the Asiago and Smoked Provolone cheese sauce pictured above. The tomato-based marinara sauce varieties include the Tuscan-Style Marinara Sauce, also pictured above.
Walmart has yet to add the new "Marketside" fresh pasta, pasta sauce and dip lines, as well as some of the new SKUs added to the existing lines, to its Marketside.com product website.
Walmart's "Marketside" private brand now includes lines and products in the fresh-prepared foods, fresh produce and bakery categories.
The fresh-prepared food lines include both ready-to-eat items - grab-and-go salads and sandwiches; party trays; Rotisserie chicken and other meat and non-meat items and side dishes; plus the dips and sauces - and ready-to-heat or quick-cook items, such as entrees, side dishes, pizzas, pastas and sauces.
There's also a line of "Marketside" packaged fresh cheese and a line of packaged lunch meats which are sold in some Walmart stores.
The fresh food products are sold in the retailer's Walmart Supercenter, Walmart Neighborhood Market and marketside by Walmart banner stores in the U.S. Additionally, selected "marketside" items are also sold in some of the retailer's discount format stores.
The product grouping above - the ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken and take-and-bake pizza, along with a bag of fresh spinach, a loaf of fresh bread and a cookie - is a good graphic depiction of the "home meal replacement" marketing positioning focus Walmart is using for its "Marketside" fresh foods brand.
Home meal replacement positioning, building brand buzz
Walmart's strategic vision and marketing strategy for "Marketside" is to create a multi-line family of fresh food products and position them to shoppers as an affordable, fresh and high-quality "home meal solutions" brand and concept, which it has started doing, using a handful of marketing and promotional vehicles.
The retailer's new campaign for "Marketside," which began the first week of November, is designed to create online buzz around the brand by engaging food-oriented bloggers and "mommy" bloggers, many who are members of Walmart's moms' blogger group.
The "home meal replacement" positioning for brand "Marketside" is the central theme of the campaign. Boulder, Colorado-based design and corporate identity firm Mighty Fudge Studios, the creators of the "Marketside" product packaging, prepared an attractive and detailed collateral piece for the week-long promotion. The package was sent to the bloggers as an information piece about the brand, along with inviting them to receive a selection of free "Marketside" products over a period of time, which they could try and hopefully write about in their respective blogs, thereby creating some desired online grassroots buzz for and around the brand.
The marketing communications piece (pictured above) uses the "home meal solutions" positioning as its overall theme, focusing the "Marketside" brand message on that key element.
A number of the food-oriented and "mommy" bloggers who received the free products and market communication piece have since posted about the "Marketside" products, along with posting recipes they created using the fresh food items.
More brand 'Marketside' to come
In addition to introducing the new "Marketside" fresh food lines, Walmart has added new SKUs to many of its existing lines over the last couple months, such as new fresh bread items, ready-to-heat refrigerated soup varieties, value-added produce items and a some others.
New line creation and SKU expansion are far from over at Walmart for brand "Marketside." The retailer is currently working on additional new fresh food lines, including prepared-foods, and new SKUs to add to the existing lines, for introduction in the first half of 2011.