Meijer Goes Natural!

Meijer Private Brand Pizza

Meijer is the Grand Rapids, Michigan, based retailer that operates 185 supercenters throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Founded in 1934 as a grocer, Meijer is often credited with creating the supercenter concept in the early 1960’s. They were ranked 19 in Fortune’s 2008 “The 35 largest U.S. private companies”. Supermarket News ranked Meijer No. 12 in the 2007 “Top 75 North American Food Retailers” based on 2006 fiscal year estimated sales of $13.2 billion.

Meijer features a number of Private Brands including: Meijer, Meijer Select, Meijer Gold, Meijer Organic, Meijer Main Choice (Pet Food) and At Home with Meijer to name a few

In the press release dated below they announce the launch of their newest Private Brand Meijer Naturals. I look forward to seeing and tasting the new product.

Meijer Goes Natural With New Branded Line of Wholesome, Healthy and Great-Tasting Grocery Items

Meijer Naturals To Debut April 19, Products Are Free Of Additives, Trans Fats, Artificial Sweeteners And Bioengineered Ingredients

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 16 /PRNewswire/ — Two years after introducing its successful Meijer Organics line of products, the Midwest grocer is set to unveil another health-focused brand that does not contain any artificial ingredients or additives.

Meijer Naturals, which will begin appearing on store shelves April 19, was created to provide a healthy and tasty alternative for customers who seek wholesome foods that are minimally processed and contain nothing artificial.

“Meijer Naturals is a natural fit for us, and a great fit for those who lead a smart and active lifestyle where healthy living and eating are paramount,” said Ralph Fischer, group vice president-foods at Meijer. “This is an exciting brand that we feel today’s shopper will embrace given that it’s delicious, wholesome and a great value.”

With 75 different items comprising its product lineup, Meijer Naturals is a sister brand to Meijer Organics. Positioned as a natural alternative to processed mainstream products, the new brand will include everything from snacks and sauces to desserts and beverages.

This health-oriented brand contains no Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s), no high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners, no added hydrogenated oils or trans fats, no artificial food colorings or flavorings, and no artificial preservatives.

A sampling of some of the products that fall under the Meijer Naturals brand include Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix, White Cheddar Popcorn, Roasted & Salted Almonds, Ketchup, Apple Sauce, Pomegranate Juice, Triple Chocolate Chip & Key Lime White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Multi- Grain Crackers, Tomato Sauce, and Corn & Bean Mild Salsa.

“We’re committed to helping our customers and their families eat healthier, and Meijer Naturals is certainly a smart choice,” said Shari Steinbach, Healthy Living manager at Meijer. “Coupled with our Meijer Organics line, this new product furthers our reputation as the pre-eminent health and wellness brand among grocers.”

The new brand will serve to complement the Organics line, as it allows Meijer to offer a wider variety of healthier alternative foods. Every item under the Meijer Organics umbrella has been certified as “USDA Organic”, meaning all foods are derived using no growth hormones, antibiotics, conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or ionizing radiation. Since there is no government certification for natural foods, Meijer established its own high standards and strict guidelines. This means Meijer will not include any “food negatives” — such as artificial ingredients or additives — in Meijer Naturals.

Meijer Naturals, priced at 10-15% less than comparable national brand products, will likely appeal to concerned parents who want to make healthy food choices for their families.

According to a recent study, sales of natural food & beverage products are expected to be at nearly $20 billion within two years. Food labeled as “natural” generated $22.3 billion in sales in 2008, up 10% from 2007, and up 37% from 2004, according to one recent industry report.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.