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HEB's Central Market Own Brand Continues to Grow

SAN ANTONIO -- Central Market, the successful gourmet spinoff of HEB Grocery Co. here, continues to build a distinctive own-brand franchise for its seven Texas stores. The retailer last week brought shoppers up to date in its e-mail newsletter, touting an armload of products bearing the CM private label.

"Our family of private label products keeps on growing," the HEB division said in the "Foodie" newsletter. "Throughout the store, look for the 'CM' label and find incredible value, top quality and terrific flavor."

The program's highlights include CM organics, with new items including frozen fruit (strawberries, wild blueberries, mixed berry blend), frozen vegetables (including edamame and haricots vert), balsamic vinegar, and canned tomatoes (whole, diced and pureed), as well as CM all-natural products, with the latest additions of peanut butters (smooth and crunchy), pastas, pizzas, and veggie chips.

"Whenever we can, we choose to support small family farms all over the country, and family-owned producers in Europe," Central Market said. The retailer also promised more additions by year's end.

Five new artisan dry pastas -- casarecce, armoniche, ricciarelle, pappardelle, and spinach tagliatelle -- join an existing all-natural line of spaghetti, capellini, linguine, fusilli, penne rigate, and farfalle. "Our pastas are dried slowly at low temperatures, preserving the "nutty" flavor of the pure durum wheat," Central Market said.

The expansion also includes CM Italian wood-fired pizzas, made for Central Market by bakers in the Puglia region of southeastern Italy, and shipped and sold frozen. The pies come in five varieties: mozzarella, vegetariana, quattro formaggi (four cheeses), apple and gorgonzola, and organic cheese.
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