Target shoppers will soon be see a new flagship brand replacing their Simply Balanced and Archer Farms pantry staples.
Starting September 15, Target is rolling out Good & Gather, its largest store-owned grocery line. The new brand will encompass perishables like eggs, milk and produce, as well as snacks, cereals and heat-and-eat meals. All items under the new line are free of artificial flavors and sweeteners, synthetic colors and high fructose corn syrup.
But what might get shoppers most excited is Target's generous return policy for Good & Gather items: If you buy it, try it and don't love it, shoppers are able to get a full refund.
According to Target spokeswoman Angie Thompson, the store has paid close attention to which Archer Farms and Simply Balanced items were the most successful (Simply Balanced, which was introduced to the market in 2013, and Archer Farms are Target's existing lines of products made without preservatives and common food additives). Many of the new items will have the same recipes consumers are used to, they'll just have the Good & Gather logo instead.
Some Simply Balanced and Archer Farms products, however, will have their formula revamped before switching to new packaging.
"For example," Thompson told TODAY Food, "Simply Balanced sparkling waters do really well. Before changing them to Good & Gather, they went through a taste testing and [Target culinary experts] found the lime flavor wasn't up to their standards. So we redid the formula to relaunch it under Good & Gather in September."
Good & Gather will first launch with 650 products in September, and an additional 2,000 products are expected over the next year.
Thompson would not provide exact price points for new products, but she told TODAY that all the Good & Gather items will be "comparable to what guests are used to" and priced "competitively" to other grocery stores like Trader Joe's that are known for their own branded foods.
Currently, a 30-ounce container of Archer Farms roasted mixed nuts costs $14.99 (about 49 cents per ounce). A 40-ounce container from Costco retails for $20.49 (about 51 cents per ounce), while a 44-ounce package of mixed nuts from Amazon retails for $18.99 — just 43 cent per ounce.
Aside from offering more tasty and affordable food items, Target isn't becoming the next Trader Joe's anytime soon since they will still cary hundreds of other well-known brands, from Annie's mac and cheese to Kellogg's cereal and Hershey's candy.
"We are really focused on providing our guests with both the national brands they love along side a curated assortment of owned brands they can't get anywhere else," Thompson told TODAY.
Good & Gather will sell pre-made foods and meal kits similar to those rolled out in store last year, including an avocado toast kit, beet hummus and a heat-and-serve roasted poblano mac and cheese.
Target will be phasing out its Archer Farms and Simply Balanced food products over the next few years but did not provide a specific date of completion. The store will also be reducing the number of items available under the Market Pantry label, its largest food brand.