A healthy body could equal an even healthier bottom line for Target as the store is rolling out a huge push into organic foods and sustainable products in all its stores.
Target is calling this drive the "Made to Matter - Handpicked by Target" collection. At its center is a list of 120 products from 17 well-known brands that Target has specifically chosen for their healthiness or sustainability. These run the gamut from Chobani Greek Yogurt to Method cleaning products. With these on Target shelves the chain hopes to take a big bite out of competitors such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. The concept was created when Target assembled the leaders from the 17 brands and asked them how to go about creating this new category.
Target said the healthy food and green market is growing at an enviable pace of 10 percent to 15 percent annually and that almost all Target customers already buy some natural, organic or sustainable products.
"Natural, organic and sustainable resonates with Target's guests," said Kathee Tesija, the company's executive vice president of merchandising and supply chain. "We're taking our 17 best natural and organic manufacturers, which are normally competitors with each other, and coming together as a team to take the guesswork out of buying better-for-you products."
The other angle is that consumers with a vested interest in a healthier lifestyle or planet sustainability are voting with their dollars on where to shop. If a company does not show to its customers that it holds the same interests, then those people will go elsewhere.
So adding a dedicated product line is a no--brainer.
"Natural and organic is past the fad stage," said Jim Hertel, managing partner at Willard Bishop grocery consulting firm. "What used to be a lifestyle for the best-educated and highest incomes is now skewing younger, although it's still an educated, above-average-income consumer."
A few of the products Target is particularly proud to sell are the Method air refresher that uses compressed-air instead of an aerosol to expel the contents and a bleach-free, chlorine-free disposable cotton diaper from Seventh Generation.
All of the Made to Matter items will initially only be available at Target through an exclusive six-month agreement with the various brands. These products will not receive their own section, but instead will be merchandised throughout the store. Some items may be placed on end caps or prominently labeled with Target's green Made to Matter logo.