Private Label Buyer

Kroger Becomes Poster Child for Private Label Produce, Say Analysts

August 22, 2011

Kroger is getting high marks  for its new line of private label salads, Fresh Selections. Other retailers may soon find themselves scrambling to copy the new features Kroger has in its line, analysts say.


“Kroger has clearly defined a product with a value that, based on the information, goes beyond its national brand competitors,” says Jim Wisner, president of Wisner Marketing Group, Libertyville, Ill.


The Cincinnati-based retailer Monday introduced its Fresh Selections private label salads. The line comes in a variety of packages, including bags, clam shells, single-serve and salad kits.


The retailer also  launched its Quality You Can Trace program which allows customers to access online information about the salads they purchase, including harvest date, packing information and safety status.


“The company has the potential to legitimately create destination demand for products and I think they will serve as the poster boys for other retailers looking to expand into produce,” Wisner predicts.


“Increasing the percentage of private label pre-packaged salads takes advantage of two trends. First, the movement to pre-mixed packaged vegetables and salads and second the desire to know where the product was actually made. I think other retailers will follow suit.  But it doesn’t really work for a single item. But adding the label and traceability to pre-mixed products is a really clever idea,” says Paula Rosenblum, managing partner at Miami-based  Retail Systems Research (RSR Research).