While much of the excitement in the jelly category has been in the national and regional brand spreadable fruit segment, many retailers are also doing strong jobs with their private-label jams and jellies.
Big Y Foods, Springfield, Mass., added private-label jellies two years ago, and has had much success with the segment, according to Ann Wallenius, corporate brands coordinator.
"We have 17 private-label jellies under the Big Y label in different sizes and flavors. We also plan to get into fruit spreads in the near future under the Kingston label, which is from Topco Associates. We also carry a World Classics upscale line of preserves from Topco," she said.
"Private-label grape jelly and preserves are the core items, and it is growing at the same rate and following the same trends as the category as a whole," Wallenius added.
The typical New York City D'Agostino store has 8 sectional feet devoted to jelly, of which about 12 linear feet of shelving is devoted to private-label jams and jellies. The chain has 4 linear feet of popularly priced Foodtown-brand jams and jellies, and 7 linear feet devoted to the upscale President's Choice line.
"In President's Choice we have light preserves, jelly, jam and a marmalade. Of those, the jams, particularly the strawberry and apricot jams, do the best. It is a good, steady business," said Mary Moore, D'Agostino's director of public affairs.
Chains both big and small are finding ways to get positive sales with private label. A&P, Montvale, N.J., has been building a strong store-brand business in the category with its Master Choice preserves imported from Canada and packaged in octagonal-shaped jars, and America's Choice popularly priced jams and jellies, said a chain official.
"Our Master Choice line of preserves has been a very popular seller for us," said William Vitulli, vice president of government and community relations.
The 43-unit Town & Country chain, Mountain Grove, Mo., has garnered a strong position in the category with its Always Save private-label jelly brand, said James Kaneaster, store supervisor.