While private label did not gain market share during the pandemic as some commentators had predicted it might, a few emerging categories such as functional beverages and plant-based meat alternatives bucked the trend, FoodNavigator-USA recently reported.
“Guest demand for plant-based offerings is incredibly high and continues to grow. By adding Good & Gather Plant Based to our curated assortment of plant-based offerings, we're giving guests more of what they want and making it easy for them to discover the joy of food every day," said Rick Gomez, executive vice president and chief food and beverage officer at Target.
The new line is an extension of Target's original Good & Gather private label range, which features affordable, high-quality products made without artificial flavors and sweeteners, synthetic colors and high fructose corn syrup.
Launched in 2019, Good & Gather has become the company's No. 1-selling store brand, generating over $2bn in sales last year alone and offering more than 2,000 products across nearly every grocery category (past line extensions to Good & Gather include Good & Gather Signature, Good & Gather Seasonal, Good & Gather Organic and Good & Gather Kids).
Last month, the retailer also rolled 700 SKUs of its new private label offering, Favorite Day, featuring premium sweet and savory products.
“Target has been really purposeful in the last few years in how they’ve developed their product portfolio. They’re not a traditional grocery retailer, yet they’re building these really dynamic brands that are filling a consumer need,” Aimee Becker, senior vice president, strategic advisory at Daymon, a private label marker research firm, previously told FoodNavigator-USA.
Target leadership: 'They’re not just private labels... they’re brands our guests love'
"We took significant market share throughout the year and the guest has certainly recognized and appreciates the Good and Gather brand, so we think that’s a way for us to continue to differentiate our offerings," commented Target CEO Brian Cornell during the company's Q4 2020 earnings call to investors in early March.
"Target’s own brands continue to generate strong growth because of our approach to creating, designing and maintaining these brands. They’re not just private labels, they’re brands our guests trust, they’re brands our guests love," commented Target chief growth officer Christina Hennington.
Expanding the private label plant-based set
The Good & Gather Plant Based assortment -- which will launch on a rolling basis through fall 2021 and will be available online for same-day delivery and store pickup -- will include more than 30 products spanning 10 categories including meat alternatives, plant-based dips, spreads, creamers and more, with all items priced under $8 (and most items priced under $5), said the retailer.
The launch builds on some popular existing plant-based products already available under Target's Good & Gather label including Good & Gather Meatless Chick’n Tenders and Good & Gather Vanilla Oatmilk.
New plant-based products developed by Target's internal team of food scientists and recipe developers and supported by customer research include: Italian-Style Meatless Meatballs, Everything Seasoned Cashew Dip & Spread, Buffalo Style Cauliflower Wings, Non-Dairy Chocolate Flavored Mousse Dip & Spread, and Caramel Vanilla Almondmilk Creamer.
*During the first six months of the pandemic, branded products grew 18.6% compared to private label which increased by 15.9% (private label was growing at 4% and branded products at 2.2% the six months before the pandemic, according to Nielsen data). The trend continued in the following six months with private label growing 7.7% compared to branded products’ 11.1% growth.