Target Launches Sustainable Private Label

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Target Launches Sustainable Private Label

By Cyndi Loza - 04/29/2019

Target tied in to the April 22 designation of "Earth Day" by launching a line of sustainable, budget-friendly cleaning and household essentials. 

Everspring encompasses 70 SKUs, including laundry detergent, candles, hand soap, paper towels, dish soap, and essential oils, that are biobased or made with recycled materials or natural fibers. Ranging from $2.79 to $11.99 in price, the SKUs cost nearly 20% less than comparable national brands such as SC Johnson's Mrs. Meyers and Unilever's Seventh Generation, according to the Star Tribune

In stores, the products enjoy secondary merchandising space on rolling racks outfitted with green signage positioning the "down-to-earth solutions that are up to earth's standards" as new and only at Target. Multiple counter cards on the racks also communicate the eco-friendly attributes of select SKUs. One card, for example, boasts Everspring wipes are compostable, while another promises the line's paper towels are made with 100% recycled paper and whitened without chlorine bleach. 

Online, a target.com promotional page for the brand continues to communicate the line's sustainability and depicts the retailer's new Target Clean icon next to a "your clear choice for clean products" message. Created to highlight products that are formulated without a group of commonly unwanted chemicals, the Clean icon is also depicted alongside Everspring hand soap in a video on the retailer's YouTube channel. (See below.) Social media updates, an April 23 email blast and a target.com home page display ad also support. 

Target's in-house design team were equally thoughtful about the packaging for Everspring as they were the contents, according to an April 22 "A Bullseye View" blog post. The brand's packaging was created with easy-to-understand ingredient lists and graphic icons on the front of each product to make the SKUs both aesthetically pleasing and informative. The majority of the line's bottles are also made up of 50% or more recycled content, including post-consumer plastic, according to the blog post.

“Everspring is a great example of how we’re listening — and responding — to the evolving needs of our guests in a way that’s uniquely Target,” said Christina Hennington, Target's senior vice president, general merchandise manager, in the blog post. “[Shoppers] can feel confident they’re purchasing essentials for their home that include ingredients and components they want and have the efficacy they need to get daily routines done.”

Adding a sustainable, eco-friendly household essentials brand to its private label assortment makes sense for Target. The retailer said its sales of “naturals” — including “clean” brands like Mrs. Meyers, Seventh Generation and Method — have grown by double-digits year-over-year since 2016, according to CNBC. Seeing the heightened demand, Target wants to take a bigger stake in the space.

Launching private labels and exclusive brands has become commonplace for Target — especially in recent years. In 2017, Target committed to reimagining its owned brand portfolio and delivering more one-of-a-kind items. The retailer has since launched more than 20 private label and exclusive brands including home essentials and personal care label Smartly in October and size-inclusive bra line Auden in March. Moreover, the retailer plans to have more than 25 new private label and exclusive brands by the end of the year.

The rate at which Target releases private label brands may soon begin to slow, though. "We've made a major commitment to making sure that we use our own brands as a point of differentiation, that we bring great style and quality to our [shoppers] at a great value," said Brian Cornell, Target's chief executive officer, during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call last month. "But the path we've been on and the pace is going to slow. We're going to be more surgical now. We'll be focused much more around making sure we're managing those brands and building brand management expertise into our teams. But we'll continue to look for whitespace opportunities and the strength in our portfolio with great own brands that drive market share gains, drive traffic to our stores and more business to our site."

NOTE: For more images of the Everspring launch at Target, visit p2pi.org. Path to Purchase Institute members have access to more than 6,500 images and 1,170 articles of marketing and merchandising activity at Target, along with a full Retailer Profile outlining the chain’s operations and strategies.