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Natural Foods Merchandiser
Kroger store

Kroger, conventional chains hop on organic private label bandwagon

Kroger's announcement about its new private label line is the latest effort by supermarket brands to compete for the health food customer.

As Kroger announced its Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic private label lines, the Wall Street Journal offered a wider look at how supermarket chains are targeting the health food shopper.

"While organic products are available in most conventional grocery stores, our customers told us that labels can be confusing, and there's a general belief in the marketplace that organic means more expensive," Mary Ellen Adcock, vice president of natural foods for Kroger, said via press release. "At Kroger we understand these challenges, so we're offering our shoppers the Simple Truth Organic brand, an easy, more clearly labeled and affordable way to buy organic products."

Kroger isn't the only major grocery chain that has expanded its organic and healthy private label lines. According to the Wall Street Journal:

"Other grocery stores, such as Supervalu, have also recently moved to a single private-label line across all their stores, counting on the larger-scale operations to help decrease costs and increase marketing capabilities.

Supervalu, whose brands include Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and more, is also expanding its private-label business with another 1,500 new products, including a line of natural and organic foods called Wild Harvest.

Safeway, which operates regional chains such as Vons and Randalls, introduced its all-natural brand, Open Nature, in late 2010. Safeway already had an organic line, called O Organics, and its Eating Right brand, which focuses on high fiber, low fat and other healthy attributes. The company has said profit margins on its store-brand products are about 4 percentage points better than name-brand sales."

As consumers make healthier food choices, conventional food stores are using private labels to better serve these customers. The Wall Street Journal report shares this trend, as has Natural Foods Merchandiser in its reporting about moves by the likes of Walgreens.

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