Target's "Made to Matter" move capitalizes on natural industry potential

Target's newly announced "Made to Matter -- Handpicked by Target" collection is a savvy move by the national retailer to command a larger share of the growing natural products category.

Target is upping its game in the natural and organic sphere with a new push to bring what it calls “better for you products” to the masses. On Wednesday, Target announced its “Made to Matter -- Handpicked by Target” collection. It features 17 natural, sustainable or organic brands that will release more than 120 new products exclusive to Target in categories ranging from baby and beauty to household and grocery.

Forbes called the move a “bold bid for a bigger chunk of the health and wellness market.” Indeed, Target’s initiative is clearly a move to use its hefty buying power to take better advantage of a lucrative category. According to Nutrition Business Journal estimates, the natural and organic food and beverage category is expected to reach $71 billion by 2015 with roughly 12 percent annual growth ongoing. Natural and organic personal care and household items (collectively "natural living") are expected to reach $17.5 billion with roughly 9 percent annual growth ongoing.

Target executives also pointed out that the “Made to Matter” initiative reflects the evolving demand among the retailer’s customers.

“Almost all of our guests, 97 percent, say they buy some product that is natural, organic or sustainable,” Kathryn A. Tesija, Target’s executive vice president for merchandising and supply chain said in a New York Times article published Tuesday.

“They’re looking for products in this category,” she said in the article. “We’re making it easy by calling them out.”

The "Made to Matter" participating brands include, Annie’s Homegrown, Burt’s Bees, Chobani, Clif Bar & Company, Ella’s Kitchen, EVOL, Horizon Organic, Hyland’s, Kashi, Method, Plum Organics, Seventh Generation, SheaMoisture, Target’s Simply Balanced, Vita Coco, Yes To and Zarbee’s Naturals. Each product will bear a “Made to Matter” seal and be featured both in their respective aisles and in special displays throughout the store.

While the marketing and advertising boost this initiative provides is clearly a boon to all of the participating companies, its even more of a dream-come-true opportunity for smaller guys who haven’t made inroads into the mass market like frozen sandwich and burrito maker EVOL. Target plans to roll out the “Made to Matter” lines in all of its U.S. stores, which number 1,797 according to the company’s website.  

The “Made to Matter” concept is also an innovative, forward-thinking play by Target in a market that is increasingly dominated by mass market retailers. In 2012, mass market made up 55 percent of natural and organic sales, up from 37 percent in 2000. As these retail bigwigs beome more relevant and more competitive in this space, Target’s strategy to stay on the leading edge of health-focused, conscious consumerism is a savvy one.

Target's chosen natural, organic and sustainable products were introduced in stores at the end of March and will be added into aisles throughout the spring and summer. The full collection will be available by September 2014.

Hear from Target executives and the brands themselves as they explain the idea behind "Made to Matter" in this video announcing the collection. 


TAGS: Regulatory
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