MINNEAPOLIS — The initial response to Target’s new food and beverage brand has been “fantastic,” said Brian C. Cornell, chairman and chief executive officer of Target Corp.
The retailer unveiled the Good & Gather brand in September. Products are made without artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, synthetic colors or high-fructose corn syrup.
“I think it’s really on-trend with what the consumer is looking for in food and beverage from Target,” Mr. Cornell said during a Nov. 20 earnings call. “Our team has done a fabulous job with the packaging. Our store teams did a really terrific job of making that transition and getting these products on the shelf during the quarter. So while early, the brand is off to a very good start.”
Target initially launched 650 items spanning the categories of dairy, deli, produce, snacks, beverages and pantry and expects to expand to 2,000 items in 2020, Mr. Cornell said. The assortment includes products such as avocado toast salad kits and black bean hummus alongside staples such as milk, eggs and cheese. Extensions will focus on children, organic, seasonal and signature product lines.
Over time, Good & Gather will replace the Simply Balanced and Archer Farms brands.
“Despite our strength in owned brands overall, we’re underpenetrated from a food and beverage standpoint,” Mr. Cornell said. “So, low-teen development in owned brands in food and beverage. We think there’s significant upside over time. And we think within the next year or so, Good & Gather will likely be our single largest owned brand at Target. So, I’m very optimistic about the potential for the brand.”
In the latest quarter, Target’s food and beverage categories delivered a low single-digit increase in comparable sales, led in part by strength in beverages, bakery and deli, Mr. Cornell said.