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INDIANAPOLIS -- Aiming to take a bite out of the growing market for organic foods, Supervalu cut the ribbon on its first Sunflower Market here. The 12,000-square-foot, value-priced natural and organic foods retail outlet carries 8,000 to 12,000 SKUs, and will serve as the prototype for a Supervalu expansion plan that includes opening 50 Sunflower Market stores in five years.
"We're very excited about opening the doors to the first Sunflower Market store today," said Jeff Noddle, Supervalu chairman and c.e.o. "This retail concept offers customers the convenience of a full shopping experience, with access to natural and organic products in all categories. We've developed a unique merchandising approach that will highlight our perishables, which include an extensive produce offering, natural, case-ready meats, and fresh bakery and deli items."
Sunflower Market is Supervalu's response to the rapidly growing demand for natural and organic foods in the United States. The Minneapolis-based distributor and retailer said its consumer research showed 96 percent of consumers use fresh organic produce at least occasionally. Research also indicates that while 66 percent of the U.S population seeks organic products that offer nutritional, appetizing solutions for themselves and their families, the cost of organic foods is the most common obstacle for consumers. Sunflower Market will address that barrier by delivering organic products at a value price point, said Noddle.
The store contains grocery, frozen and dairy departments; produce and bulk foods; deli and cheese; all-natural bakery and café; hormone- and antibiotic-free meat and seafood; beer and wine; and a wellness department.
"Today's Sunflower Market opening is an innovative retail concept that provides customers with great natural and organic foods at affordable prices," said John Hooley, president of Supervalu's retail food companies.
Sunflower Market will serve an ever-increasing segment of the American market with significant growth potential in coming years, added Hooley, who said Supervalu will support the launch of Sunflower Market with the phased deployment of more than 200 private label items marketed under the new "Nature's Best" brand.
To leverage the Nature's Best brand, Supervalu will also make this private label program available to its corporately owned and operated retail banners as well as to the approximately 2,200 independent retail locations to which Supervalu is the primary supplier. Additionally, Sunflower Market will leverage W. Newell & Co., the wholesaler's specialty produce company launched earlier this year, to offer customers the freshest and broadest selection of organic produce.