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New Seasons Market helps local brands get retail-readyNew Seasons Market helps local brands get retail-ready

In a new program designed to help local brands elevate from farmers markets to retail store aisles, New Seasons Market has proven itself a genuine champion of local entrepreneurs.

2 Min Read
New Seasons Market helps local brands get retail-ready

Oregon-based New Seasons Market, like many natural food stores, has always prioritized local brands in its aisles. But with the expansion of its Local Finds program, New Seasons now offers a neatly packaged process designed to help brands make a successful transition from farmers markets to retail shelves. Through Local Finds, brands get tailored help from New Seasons as they navigate the tricky waters of FDA approvals, product marketing, and more. And while supporting local isn’t a new idea for New Seasons — it’s been a local champion for 14 years — this turnkey program provides the step-by-step framework brands need to get their product retail-ready.

“Helping brands walk through the process gives them a partner in us,” said Chris Tjersland, the store’s private brands development manager. “They know we’ll have an interest when their product is ready to come to market.” Tjersland helps manufacturers consider matters like shelf life, packaging and nutritional labels, and directs them to resources that can help along the way.

Since Local Finds brands often have small marketing budgets, New Seasons steps up to the plate on their behalf to introduce products to their shoppers through signage, social media and free in-store demoing opportunities. “We set up a marketing program that allows them to grow, but it’s important we let them grow at their own pace,” added Tjersland. “Some of our Local Finds items are only in a single store, because they can only make enough to stock that one store.”

Along the way, store associates become important brand ambassadors. Since they’re often the first point of contact for a new company or product, associates handling initial requests become invested and often follow up and advocate on a vendor’s behalf — and take a stake in introducing customers to the product once it’s hit the shelves. The result is a powerful network of staff and vendors, working together to champion the local products New Seasons shoppers have come to expect.

Today, New Seasons stocks over 9,000 products that are considered home grown (or created in the Northwest). With the launch of Local Finds, the store has added 100 brands and 200 products to its lineup. "Shoppers love getting to experience up-and-coming artisan foods and creators, and they develop a sense of ownership and excitement when they've been there from the beginning,” explained Tjersland. “It's not just that they enjoy it, they really feel invested in the success of the local food scene and the people that are a part of it. Folks are really excited to get introduced to products through Local Finds, which is easy and fun and comes from a credible source." 

About the Author(s)

Melissa Kvidahl Reilly


Melissa Kvidahl Reilly is a freelance writer and editor with 10 years of experience covering news and trends in the natural, organic and supplement markets. She lives and works in New Jersey.

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