ARCADIA, Calif. -- Vons Cos. here has added a line of upscale frozen entrees under the Pavilions Select Gourmet Club private label to its frozens case.
The family-size line is packaged in black and gold boxes that contain a full-color picture of the actual item.
Vons sources Pavilions Select from Safeway, which maintains an equity interest in the 328-store chain. Safeway markets the line under the Safeway Select Gourmet Club name in its stores.
Officials at Vons declined to comment about Pavilions Select, but Debra Lambert, a spokeswoman for Oakland, Calif.-based Safeway, said Safeway introduced Gourmet Club to its own stores last fall with about 10 stockkeeping units. It has since added another five SKUs, most recently some cannelloni products. A line of frozen hors d'oeuvres is also marketed under the Gourmet Club name.
"We're pleased with Gourmet Club's performance. We are continuing to add items to the line," she said.
While Safeway manufactures many of its own private-label products, Lambert said Safeway does not manufacture Gourmet Club.
"We source these items from various vendors, and seek out the best manufacturer for each product," she said.
Vons introduced the line to its shoppers through four-color, full-page newspaper ads that ran earlier this month. Items featured included Pavilions Select meat lasagna, $7.99 for a 5-pound package; hickory or sweet and sour barbecued ribs, $6.99, 2-pound box; extra cheesy macaroni and cheese, $3.99, 2.5-pound box, and shepherd's, beef sirloin steak or chicken pot pies, $5.29 a 2-pound box.
Other items under the Pavilions Select label include Roadhouse or Steakhouse ground beef patties, $4.99 a 2.66-pound box; veal or cheese cannelloni, $5.59 a 2.5-pound package; cheese sticks, $4.79, 1-pound box; cheddar stuffed potatoes, $3.59, 1-pound, 4.1-ounce box, and stuffed jalapeno peppers in cream or cheddar cheese varieties, $5.69, 1-pound box.
Securities analysts who track Safeway praised the high quality of the Select private-label line.
"Safeway has hit a home run with their Select private-label program and I expect them to continue to build upon it," said Debra Levin, vice president at Morgan Stanley & Co., New York.
"The Gourmet Club items look very good. Some types of the products are available in other stores, like Sam's, but they have a lot of unique items," said Gary M. Giblin, managing director at Smith Barney, New York.