Safeway Sets World Record for World’s Longest Picnic Table all for Private Brand


Source: Fresh & Easy Buzz

To celebrate National Picnic Day, Safeway highlighted the launch of its newest Private brand Open Nature with a Guinness World Records Title for World’s Longest Picnic Table and Food Network Chef Tyler Florence. June 18 they assembled the 11,304-lb. behemoth. It took a 4-person team 10 days to turn 7,116 feet of Douglas Fir wood planking and 1,032 bolts into seating for 405 diners at the 305-foot table. The event featured Florence cooking the Private Brand Open Nature, a delicious, 100 percent natural line of high-quality foods at the Marina Green in San Francisco. This is an impressive Private brand promotion from Safeway and an impressive commitment to building their brand – a great combination of national press worthy gimmick and celebrity promotion.

“As a leader in the retail food industry, Safeway has set a very high standard when it comes to defining natural – ingredients from natural sources with nothing artificial,” said Mike Minasi, President of Marketing for Safeway. “Having lunch at the World’s Longest Picnic Table on National Picnic Day is the perfect vehicle for celebrating our Open Nature promise that ingredients should come from nature and food should have as little processing as possible. Open Nature is a natural product line that consumers can have total confidence in because the ingredients are easy to understand and listed on the front of each package. We believe that nature has nothing to hide, and neither should your food.”

In keeping with Open Nature’s all-natural ingredients approach, the record-setting table will be built with only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified Douglas fir that is sustainable, and for every FSC Certified tree that is used, 10 more will be planted. Other environmentally conscious elements that will be incorporated into the picnic include environmentally friendly paper products, composting and on-site recycling.

“Food has always been important in my life and I think it is really important that people know where their food comes from,” said Tyler Florence, Food Network Chef and successful restaurateur. “I really appreciate that Safeway’s Open Nature is 100 percent natural with no gimmicks, so people can feel good about what they buy and what they cook.”

Source: Fresh & Easy Buzz

“Natural” You Can 100 Percent Trust

Given that the word ‘natural’ is not regulated by the FDA, the term’s inclusion on food packaging has left consumers skeptical of the claim. Safeway heard that their shoppers wanted great-tasting products developed as close to their natural state as possible, and as a result developed Open Nature: 100 percent natural, 100 percent real. In doing so, Safeway is leading the charge in creating natural foods that meet shopper’s needs. Unlike other products that claim to be natural, Open Nature products do not contain enriched flour, synthetic vitamin fortifications, alkalized cocoa, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, among others.

Open Nature products are affordable, because Safeway believes everyone should have access to 100 percent natural foods that won’t break a shopper’s budget. Open Nature features an expansive line of products spanning multiple categories, making it easy for consumers to add natural foods to everyday life.

“Now consumers don’t need to make trips to multiple stores to get the natural food choices they want. Safeway’s Open Nature provides a range of natural foods across multiple categories – everything from fresh chicken, yogurt and ice cream to salad dressings, peanut butter, dinner sausages, hot dogs and pastas,” said Minasi. Coming soon will be cereals and granolas, juices and more. “It’s now easier than ever to include natural foods in every meal because Open Nature is priced lower than the national brands, when not on sale, as a part of our great everyday low prices throughout the store.”

Consumers can now find a wide variety of Open Nature items exclusively at Safeway stores, and additional Open Nature products will be launched throughout 2011.

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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.