Whole Foods is updating its 365 private label branding

Whole Foods Market is rolling out a new look and name for its 365 private label brand, according to findings from research firm IGD. A retail analyst for the firm identified the change at Whole Foods’ busy Columbus Circle store in New York City, and signage indicates the update will roll out to more stores and across multiple categories.

Among the changes to the 365 brand is a more modern visual appearance that replaces the multicolor label with a black background. It also drops the “Everyday Value” tagline and replaces it with “Whole Foods Market.”

Whole Foods hasn’t explicitly said it will revamp the entire 365 Everyday Value brand, and IGD analyst Stewart Samuel said he only saw the logo update on 365 brand milk at the Columbus Circle location. But a sign photographed by IGD shows the new logo on additional products including olive oil, boxed macaroni-and-cheese and peanut butter, indicating a wider rollout.

“The quality you love has a fresh new look!” the shelf tag reads.

Grocery Dive checked a local Whole Foods store in West Seattle and several locations in the Washington, D.C. area, but did not see the updated logo.

IGD notes this would be the first update for Whole Foods’ 365 brand in several years. First launched in 1997, 365 Everyday Value has been a highly successful private label for the retailer and one of the first widely available natural store lines. Whole Foods went so far as to launch a separate banner under the 365 name, though the format shuttered last year after opening just 12 locations.

Whole Foods’ private label brands also include Whole Foods Market, Whole Trade and Engine 2 plant-based products.

The 365 brand is also available on Amazon and has generated tens of millions in annual sales for the e-commerce giant since it became available. Together, Amazon and Whole Foods have expanded grocery services broadly, with Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods pickup and delivery. Amazon Prime has boosted grocery sales across both companies. Amazon is also rolling out grocery private label products and will open the first location in its own grocery chain next month, according to reports.

Whole Foods has made small changes to its store brands, such as adding Amazon meal kits to select its stores and introducing new products, but a larger brand update could signify major growth to come, IGD noted.

With the ongoing popularity of private label products among shoppers, several retailers have taken to updating and revamping their store brands. Kroger just launched its own line of plant-based meat, while Albertsons added hundreds of private label products across its own brands last year. Regional chain The Fresh Market expanded its private label last fall with new flavors, seasonal and limited-time offerings.

Source: grocerydive.com

Whole Foods to test robot barista

Whole Foods Market will install a robotic barista to provide in-store coffee service at its new Houston-Midtown location through a partnership with Austin-based Briggo, according to a press release.

After launching in 2018, Briggo is making its grocery store debut with Whole Foods, offering a novel concept for the retailer and its customers in one of its newest stores.

Briggo’s order-ahead app promises to shave time off shoppers’ morning coffee runs, while digital kiosks address efficiency and customer experience in-store. Restaurant chains across the U.S. have added ordering kiosks in recent years, so the technology shouldn’t be a leap for shoppers to use. Customers can also purchase packaged Briggo coffee to brew at home, which will be available at the Houston-Midtown store or online.

The novelty of the robotic barista may draw curious coffee drinkers in the short-term and could drive a sales bump as the new Houston store gets going. Long-term, the retailer will need to see sustained sales and labor savings to justify expansion to other stores.

Grocers are applying this same cost-savings assessment to other automated technologies flooding the industry, from shelf-scanning bots to micro-fulfillment.

Whole Foods is widely known for its in-store coffee service. The retailer has a full-service espresso and coffee bar at many locations and a Capital Commons cafe in its flagship Atlanta store, all of which sell its house Allegro brand. Its Lincoln Harbor, New Jersey, location is slated to have an outpost of the Brooklyn-based coffee shop Cafe Grumpy.

The U.S. coffee market has increased in volume by 3.8% in 2018, according to Allegra World Coffee Portal’s 2019 Project Cafe USA report. Allegra conducted a survey and found that the U.S. coffee shop market grew to a valuation of $45.5 billion last year, but the industry faces issues with labor costs and increased competition.

The store is set to open Nov. 7.

Source: grocerydive.com