Developing ‘First Tastes’
HENLEY-ON-THAMES, U.K. — United Kingdom-based organic kids’ brand Ella’s Kitchen is rolling out a number of products that were launched exclusively in Target in July. The First Tastes line, which includes squeezable fruit and fruit-and-rice combinations, was created for babies transitioning to solid foods.
Toddlers and preschoolers also have developed a taste for Ella’s “smoothie fruit” squeezable products, and moms are including them as take-along snacks in lunchboxes.
Ella’s also has introduced a Baby Brekkie line that contains a blend of organic fruit puree, natural yogurt and whole-grain rice in four flavors.
The products, which are organic and made with all-natural ingredients, will be rolled out nationally in October.
Walmart tests no-frills format
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The new Walmart Express concept is a further downsizing of Walmart’s supercenter and Neighborhood Market format, recently rebranded as Walmart Mart. The 15,000-sq.-ft. stores are no-frills affairs with bare concrete floors and open-rafter ceilings. From a shoppers’ perspective, the store experience is consistent with the look and feel of a supercenter — only smaller.
The merchandise mix is heavily oriented toward food and consumables, with typical Walmart departments like apparel and sporting goods missing. To broaden its assortment, there is an emphasis on Walmart’s Site-to-Store service, where it ships merchandise ordered online to stores for free. The jury is still out on the format’s potential impact on pharmacy, as the location in Gentry, Ark., contains a pharmacy, but another test location further south in the community of Prairie Grove does not.
The format opened in rural Arkansas communities in early June and in Chicago food desert neighborhoods later that month. Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S., downplayed any expansion plans, stating that the supercenter would remain the mass merchant’s best vehicle for growth.
Ginseng Up prepares for U.S. launch
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. — In line with its full-scale, national launch, functional beverage brand Ginseng Up is debuting a new apple flavor.
Ginseng Up noted that its apple flavor consists 96% real apple juice blended with a touch of sparkling water. Sold in single-serve and in four-packs of 12-oz. bottles, the beverage also is available in more than 10 additional natural varieties, and is touting a new tagline, "the root of all power."
"With Ginseng Up, you get the best of both worlds," Ginseng Up president Vish Ganpati said. "By combining refreshing, all-natural fruits with the finest ginseng, we give consumers two good reasons to choose Ginseng Up: the taste, and the feeling you’re doing something really good for yourself with every sip."