CVS’s expanded, rebranded private label snack line blends functional, fun & flavor

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Source: CVS
Source: CVS

Related tags Snacks

CVS is putting the ‘fun’ in functional food with the launch of more than 40 snacks, beverages and grocery items with trendy flavors and ingredients consumers want, including probiotics, fiber, protein and superfoods like turmeric and goji berries under the new store brand Well Market.

In time, the new Well Market brand will also include about 250 products from the drugstore’s existing Gold Emblem abound and Big Chill product lines for more powerful on-shelf brand blocking thanks to new brightly colored packaging that features animated photos, windows and nutritional callouts on the front of pack.

“Really what inspired this is our customer. We spend a lot of time really listening to our customer, what their wants and desires are when it comes to food and also looking at market trends and seeing where customers are trending in terms of where they are going in their wellness journeys,” Lori Charron, CVS product development manager, told FoodNavigator-USA.

“We really aim to create a selection and a variety of snack, beverage and consumable items that can help our customer on their personal wellness journey,” she added.

As such, the new line-up includes some of the most popular benefits and ingredients that consumers are seeking, but without compromising flavor and blending indulgence with better-for-you.

“Functional benefits is something that we see customers really leaning into,” but around which there is also “a lot of confusion,” and so the line clearly calls out benefits and key ingredients consumers want, Charron said.

For example, she said, “One of the ailments that we see customers talk a lot about is gut health, which means something different to everyone.”

The Well Market line-up meets this need with several products that are calling out probiotics and fiber – two ingredients associated with gut health management – including, Probiotic-Boosted Prunes and Peanut Butter & Caramel Probiotic-Boosted Popcorn. In addition, the line includes Flavor-Infused Sprouted Almonds, which include on the front of pack a call out for a “good source of fiber” and “7 grams of protein per serving.”

By blending functional benefits with decadent flavor profiles and products historically considered as a treat, Charron said consumers “can feel a little bit better about that indulgent product.”

Other functional benefits featured prominently in the line-up include protein and super foods, such as in the retailer’s new Super Fruit Protein-Boosted Granola, Cinnamon Goji Protein-Boosted Oatmeal and Berry Vanilla Protein-Boosted Oatmeal.

The line also targets specific diets that Charron said consumers seek, including a broader range of gluten-free options, including Everything Bagel Gluten-Free Pita Chips, Fruity-Cereal Gluten-Free Cookies and Chocolate Chip Gluten-free Cookies.

CVS carefully balanced each of these functional and dietary benefits with bold, on-trend flavors that consumers want, such as Mexican Street Corn, Zesty Dill Pickle, Ghee & Pink Salt and Turmeric Curry.

“We spend a lot of time listening to our customers and seeing what they are gravitating towards in terms of what they are purchasing in our stores, the ratings and reviews that they write on our website and understanding what they really want,” said Charron.

“We actually spent more than 100 hours taste testing products with a group of Extra Care Customers in order to understand really their preferences, and one of the things we heard from them is taste is paramount. And so that is the biggest thing and so flavor innovation is something we really focused on,” she added.

To ensure the new products are accessible, they will come in a range of sizes and at different price points between $2.99 and $8.99.

Packaging comes alive on shelf with bright colors, multiple nutritional callouts

Just as important to CVS as what is in the new line of snacks is how they appear on shelf – which prompted the retailer to design packaging that was “bold and bright” and which “is going to come to life on the shelf and be a really strong presence for customers when they walk into the store,” Musab Balbale, SVP and chief merchandising officer at CVS, told FoodNavigator-USA.

The top two-thirds of the new packaging is a solid bright, inviting color that varies by snack and which is balanced with a white block at the base of the package. In the middle of the color blocks are photos of the products alongside key ingredients and simple line drawings. Many bags also feature a window so consumers can easily see what is inside each package.

“We also brought forth the nutritional aspects of the product to make it really easy for consumers to make better choices,” Balbale said.

For example, he explained, “we have two sets of callouts – we have got the nutritional call out at the top, which is telling you the calories and other key nutritional information, and then we have functional callouts toward the bottom of the package, that tell you what additional benefits you get with this particular selection,” he said.

“So on the dark chocolate pistachios, almonds and cashews, we talk about iron, and for the salted caramel bites, which are my particular favorite, it has a callout for magnesium and zinc as well as antioxidants and vitamin D. So, we are helping customers … understand why it is the healthier choice,” Balbale said.

And so the goal is to make more nutritious choices not feel like a compromise, but to make the fell like it is a nutritious choice with great flavors and great taste and just a natural choice for somebody to transition over to,” Balbale said.

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