MINNEAPOLIS, Jan 11, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Aiming to take a bite out of the growing market for organic foods, SUPERVALU (SVU) today announced the opening of its first Sunflower(R) Market store, a value-priced natural and organic foods retail outlet. Located in Indianapolis, the 12,000 square-foot-store carries 8,000 to 12,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) of natural and organic products. The Indianapolis store serves as a prototype for a SUPERVALU expansion plan that includes the opening of 50 Sunflower Market stores in five years.
"We're very excited about opening the doors to the first Sunflower Market store today," said Jeff Noddle, SUPERVALU chairman and CEO. "This retail concept offers customers the convenience of a full shopping experience, with access to natural and organic products in all categories. We've developed a unique merchandising approach that will highlight our perishables, which include an extensive produce offering, natural, case-ready meats, and fresh bakery and deli items."
Sunflower Market is SUPERVALU's response to the rapidly growing demand for natural and organic foods in the United States. According to SUPERVALU's consumer research, 96 percent of consumers use fresh organic produce at least occasionally. Research also indicates that while 66 percent of the U.S population seeks organic products that offer nutritional, appetizing solutions for themselves and their families, the cost of organic foods is the most common obstacle for consumers. Sunflower Market will address that barrier by delivering organic products at a value price point.
Sunflower Market offers value-priced products of the highest quality available: organic wherever possible, minimally processed, with no artificial colorings, sweeteners, flavors or preservatives. The store contains: grocery, frozen and dairy departments; produce and bulk foods; deli and cheese; all-natural bakery and cafe; hormone- and antibiotic-free meat and seafood; beer and wine; and a wellness department.
"Today's Sunflower Market opening is an innovative retail concept that provides customers with great natural and organic foods at affordable prices," said John Hooley, president, SUPERVALU Retail Food Companies. "We're pleased to be welcomed into the Indianapolis market, and look forward to introducing consumers to 'good natured savings' at Sunflower Market."
Sunflower Market will serve an ever-increasing segment of the American market with significant growth potential in coming years. According to a report by independent market research firm, Packaged Facts, "The market for organic foods and beverages is growing eight times as fast as the conventional food market and is expected to generate sales of $32 billion by 2009."
SUPERVALU will support the launch of Sunflower Market with the phased deployment of more than 200 private label items marketed under the new "Nature's Best" brand. To leverage the Nature's Best brand, SUPERVALU will also make this private label program available to its corporately owned and operated retail banners as well as to the approximately 2,200 independent retail locations to which SUPERVALU is the primary supplier. Additionally, Sunflower Market will leverage W. Newell & Co., SUPERVALU's specialty produce company launched earlier this year, to offer customers the freshest and broadest selection of organic produce.
Sunflower(R) is a registered trademark of SUPERVALU that dates back to 1959.
About SUPERVALU INC.
Celebrating its 135th year of fresh thinking, SUPERVALU INC., a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest companies in the United States grocery channel. With annual revenues of approximately $20 billion, SUPERVALU holds leading market share positions across the United States with its 1,546 retail grocery locations, including licensed Save-A-Lot locations. With its Save-A-Lot format, the company holds the number one market position in the extreme value grocery retail sector. Through SUPERVALU's geographically diverse supply chain network, the company provides distribution and related logistics support services to grocery retailers across the nation. In addition, SUPERVALU's third-party logistics business provides end-to-end supply chain management solutions that deliver value for manufacturers, consumer products retailers and food service customers. SUPERVALU currently has approximately 57,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU visit www.supervalu.com.