Walmart, Target PL Brands Battle for Consumer Dollars

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Walmart, Target PL Brands Battle for Consumer Dollars


Approximately 60 percent of Americans shop for groceries at a supercenter, including 57 percent who grocery shop at either Walmart or SuperTarget, and 37 percent who shop at both supercenters and traditional supermarkets, according to a recent report from market research publisher Packaged Facts.

Recent years have seen an influx of private label food and beverage products from supercenters that rival national brands in terms of price, value and quality, according to the report, “The Supercenter Grocery Shopper: U.S. Consumer Patterns at Walmart, Target, Meijer, and Fred Meyer.” Consumer perception that supercenters can serve as viable alternatives to supermarkets when making food purchases has intensified as a result.

“National and regional supercenters alike have upped the ante in terms of the breadth of private label products offered, the type of product information displayed on packaging, and the level of premiumization of these products,” said David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts.

According to the report, approximately 60 percent of customers who purchase private label food and beverage products claim to shop at Walmart. The supercenter’s recognizable Great Value brand is a hit with consumers, especially those seeking alternatives to national offerings in the dairy, frozen food, meat and snack/dessert segments. The Great Value line also has been applauded for calling out the presence or absence of potential allergens on product packaging.

Additionally, Walmart’s mission to provide healthier food choices at affordable prices has inspired the company to begin reformulating thousands of everyday packaged food items over the next few years. These efforts have included sodium reductions in Great Value items such as ketchup and various canned vegetables.

When it comes to cultivating a large and loyal base of multicultural consumers, few retail outlets can compete with the efforts of Target, the report finds. Packaged Facts states that the company’s expansion of its Archer Farms private label brand into a variety of premium, internationally inspired products has made it even more popular with several highly influential grocery shopper segments: Latinos, Asians and Foodies. Archer Farms’ product line extends beyond the obligatory assortment of salsas and dips to include a variety of simmer sauces based on Indian cuisine, in addition to Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad kits, among other offerings.

The fact that many Archer Farms products are certified organic only enhances their appeal to a growing population of health-conscious Americans. With effective marketing, these organic products could bring more foot traffic to the store among the fiscally potent baby boomer and senior consumer segments—both of which are underrepresented at Target and SuperTarget supercenters, according to Packaged Facts.

It’s clear that price, in addition to quality, is a driving force behind both where people shop and what they purchase. More than half of Walmart shoppers (52 percent) claim to shop at their favorite stores because of the prices and almost 60 percent of Walmart shoppers say they look for special offers. And despite being the preferred supercenter for more affluent consumers, Target shoppers are among the most likely to be swayed by coupons to try new products, and aren’t afraid to look for clearance items. Target shoppers are also the most likely to visit a store because of a sale.

Rockville, Md.-based Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics.