WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- Hy-Vee Food Stores here is planning to release several private-label produce items, according to a store-level source.
A 1-pound serving of salad mix, a 1-pound serving of coleslaw and a 10-ounce serving of Caesar salad were scheduled to hit stores by the second or third week of August, but they have yet to reach the shelves, said Kelly Glass, a store manager at a Hy-Vee in Gladstone, Mo.
"I thought we might have it by then, but I haven't seen it," Glass said. "It's tough to get these kinds of things kicked off."
River Ranch Fresh Foods, Dallas, will grow and package the private-label products.
Glass said Hy-Vee will still carry national brands but he believes the private labels can compete if they offer consumers what they are looking for.
"If the price is right and the quality is good, we'll probably make money," he said. Glass, who first heard about the move from supervisors three months ago, said there has been talk of offering the Hy-Vee label at an everyday price of 99 cents.
Glass stocks four 4-foot-high shelves of salads, entirely of the Dole variety. Should the Hy-Vee label make it to the shelves, he would only stock one shelf of Hy-Vee brand at first.
"Dole will still outsell us, at least in the beginning. You will still have some people who will [only] buy Dole," he said.
The chain has been "very big into private labels" in other areas of production, said Hy-Vee spokeswoman Ruth Mitchell, who declined to offer any other comment.