Target strategically evolving food selection

by Monica Watrous
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MINNEAPOLIS — More natural and organic offerings are in store for Target Corp., which shared plans for its grocery section with financial analysts during a Nov. 19 earnings call. The retailer, which this year introduced its Made to Matter collection of natural and organic products, is strategically evolving its food selection based on consumer demand.

“So, you should expect to see some mix changes, but importantly, food is an important part of our future; we’re not going to deemphasize the category,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO. “We’re not looking to take away space. We want it to be more impactful, more on-trend, and we want to fill it with items that the Target guest is looking for.”

The chain said it will continue to offer a combination of national brands and its exclusive brands, with an increased emphasis on better-for-you products.

“We believe we should continue to present a meaningful food offering in our stores and on-line, but we need to ensure that our food offering is uniquely Target and clearly differentiated from our competitors,” Cornell said. “From an assortment standpoint, from a newness standpoint, we talked about the fact that as we go forward, you should expect to see more natural and organic offerings.”

The Made to Matter collection debuted in April, featuring exclusive products from 17 brands, including Annie’s Homegrown, Chobani, Clif Bar & Company, Ella’s Kitchen, EVOL, Horizon Organic, Kashi, Plum Organics and Target’s Simply Balanced. Customers have responded favorably to the campaign, Cornell said.

“We’re not streamlining our food offering, but we are stepping back and really listening to the guest, making sure we curate on their behalf the right items that are uniquely Target, that meet the needs of our guests in the food categories,” he said.

For the third quarter ended Nov. 1, the company reported a 3.1 percent increase in net earnings to $352 million and a 2.8 percent growth in sales to $17.732 billion.
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