ELIZABETH, N.J. -- Wakefern Food Corp. here has launched a major advertising and marketing campaign to herald the redesign of its ShopRite private label.
The cooperative wholesaler advertised the ShopRite brand through a four-page pullout in its weekly circular, as well as in the Sunday food sections of local newspapers.
The store-brand program is also being touted through in-store merchandising in Wakefern's corporate stores and in units owned by its individual retail members, all of which operate under the ShopRite banner.
Laura McCafferty, a Wakefern spokeswoman, said the focus of the facelift is the new ShopRite label, which uses rich reds and blues, and unifies the cooperative's broad range of private-label products.
"The goal of the redesign was to upgrade and update the overall look of ShopRite products. This new label uses more contemporary colors, and is really just a more cohesive and more modern look," McCafferty told SN.
"The design of the packaging has been going on for about two years, and we are just about complete with it," she added. "This program is to alert customers that the change is complete and to emphasize the quality of our private label."
The circular used a pullout, instructing readers to "pull here, and be amazed."
One side of the inside spread was bright red, and alerted shoppers that ShopRite's 3,000 private-label products have "quality that can compare to national brands (Oooh, sounds expensive)
at store brand prices."
The spread told readers that ShopRite premium chocolate chip cookies contain over 40% chocolate chips and that only ShopRite has canned pineapple that is grown exclusively in Hawaii.
The back page of the pullout showed shoppers that they could save 30 cents by buying ShopRite pineapple over Dole, 51 cents by buying ShopRite apple juice over Mott's and 40 cents by buying ShopRite solid white tuna over StarKist.
A ShopRite store here visited by SN had bright 3.5-inch by 5.5-inch orange and white shelf talkers before every private-label item.
Other ShopRite units in the New York Metro market had overhead signs at the front and back ends calling attention to the store brand.
McCafferty said Wakefern has been continuously adding new products to its private label, but did not add new products specifically as part of the program redesign.
Late last year, Wakefern created an arrangement with Marketing Management Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, a private-label master broker, for consultation to help improve the wholesaler's private-label business. Market observers said the label redesign was not related to Wakefern's new relationship with MMI, however.
"More than anything, this ShopRite campaign is coincidental to their involvement with MMI because the label redesign was in the planning stages some time ago," said one source familiar with the cooperative wholesaler.
"Last year Wakefern told several principals involved in their private-label program that they were planning a big private-label push this year and that it would be a part of their promotional plans in 1995. Wakefern will be promoting their private label strongly throughout the year," the source added.
Another observer noted that Wakefern is apparently following other operators in the market that have done major overhauls of their labels, including Twin County Grocers, Edison, N.J., which redesigned its Foodtown logo last year.
Sources said ShopRite's redesign may have also been prompted by the growth of premium private labels at most of Wakefern's competitors.