If you want an early peek at how Target
plans to overhaul its food unit, take a look at the makeover of its “Market Pantry” products.
“Market Pantry” is one of 10 Target brands that bring in at least $1 billion a year. Along with Archer Farms, it’s a cornerstone of the discount retailer’s food and pet supplies business, which is a category that generates more than one-fifth of sales. But Target said this week that customers found the presentation boring, prompting it to give the15-year-old brand’s packaging a new look.
“They thought the packaging designs fell a little flat,” said Amanda Irish, vice president merchandise manager of Target’s in-house brands in a blog post. “Target’s known for great design, but the current, generic look and feel of Market Pantry just wasn’t reflecting that.”
Target set out to update the look of a line with more than 100 different categories within the brand and make it cohesive. The design features a bolder look for the new packaging, using bright colors against a red and white base (also Target’s corporate colors).
Last year, Target CEO Brian Cornell, previously CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods
, told Fortune that one of his key priorities was to vastly improve Target’s food category. After the recession, Target had quickly built up its grocery business, seeing it as a traffic driver for stores. But Cornell conceded that Target had to stand for something more in food and said that in 2016, the company would transform the category.
One example: Cornell wants organic items to account for 60% of the company’s baby food sales by next year, up from 40% when he took the reins. That change would address a key challenge: to make Target’s food selection more distinctive. And that extends to the packaging of its current brands.
In 2015, Cornell hired a former colleague from his days at Safeway
to oversee the management of Target’s food reinvention. That will be essential at a time when Walmart
is also working to improve its grocery business, which includes a bigger focus on fresh produce and organic foods.