Safeway: The Reinvention of O Organic

O Organic Front

This second in a three-part weekly series of posts on the reinvention of the Safeway Private Brand portfolio looks at O Organics.

In 2005, Pleasanton, California-based grocer Safeway introduced their now iconic organic Private Brand, O Organics. The brand quickly became the template for a whole generation of mainstream organic grocery Private Brands. I also featured the brand in my recent book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In the book, I observed:

“Today, the brand name remains fresh and to the point. “O” now appears self-confident and fearless compared to the crop of generically named organic and natural brands that followed it, and the now-aging design walks the line between classic and dated.”

Safeway_O Organic - old. cereal

So it’s great to see that close to ten years after it’s original launch, Safeway has introduced a contemporary redesign maintaining the equity of the original brand and design while still presenting a fresh modern update. The O Organics redesign – rolling out in stores right now – started with consumer demand for organic cheeses.Safeway_O Organic - old logo

The attribute-focused, almost functional package design was updated in all the right places. An updated version of the now familiar logo remains, but the rigid grid architecture is gone, replaced by large, almost romantic, product photography that evokes the experience of the brand.

I close the chapter on O Organics in the book with this statement:

“O Organics has successfully carved out a place in the hearts — and on the dinner tables — of American grocery shoppers, and in doing so has become the standard by which highly focused niche Private Brands are judged.”

With this redesign it continues to raise the bar.



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Christopher Durham

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.