Thursday, December 27, 2007

Marketing Memo: Safeway's O' Organics Brand in Asia

Safeway's O' Organics On the Shelf at Carrefour Hypermarket, Taipei, Taiwan

On Friday, December 21, we reported that Safeway Stores, Inc.'s O' Organics brand organic grocery products were being sold at a Carrefour Hypermarket in Taipei, Taiwan. France's Carrefour is Europe's largest retailer, and the second largest retailer in the world after Wal-Mart.

Further, on Sunday, December 23, we followed up our original story with a piece providing new and additional information about the O' Organics brand in the Taipei Carrefour Hypermarket and in other Carrefour stores in Taiwan, along with some new reporting and analysis about the brand's marketing in Asia.

We also reported in that story that Market Place by Jason's, the 4-store, upscale format from Hong Kong-based Wellcome supermarkets, is also currently selling O' Organics brand groceries in Taiwan.

>Read our December 21 piece here.
>Read our December 23 piece here.

Now, one of our sources, Rachel Lanning who lives on Taipei, has taken a couple pictures of the O' Organics brand shelf sets for us in the Taipei, Carrefour.

The first picture (below) shows a variety of O' Organics shelf-stable grocery items in a 3 or 4-foot segregated shelf set in the store. The various O' Organics brand items are grouped together, creating an O' Organics organic set.

Photo: By Rachel Lanning

The set pictured above contains O' Organics fruit preserves, crunchy and creamy peanut butter, salad dressings, tomato ketchup and canned goods. [Note: Ms. Lanning tells us there is a "reduced price" sign on the O' Organics peanut butter. (you can see it on the shelf rail in the picture.) She thinks the peanut butter might be being discontinued, as she said the price reduction was considerable from what she paid for the item a couple weeks ago.]

The second picture (below) shows O' Organics brand boxed pasta dinners and packaged pasta in a set in the Taipei Carrefour. Box pasta dinner items include O' Organics regular organic macaroni and cheese and O' Organics organic alfredo macaroni and cheese. The store carries a number of different cuts of O' Organics dry pasta in the set as well. (You can see the linguine in the right of the picture.)

Photo: By Rachel Lanning

Carrefour currently has 48 Hypermarkets in Taiwan. The stores are merchandising a broad selection of O' Organics grocery items including: canned goods, ketchup and other condiments, salad dressings, teas, peanut butter, fruit preserves, soy milk, boxed dinners, pasta and a few other items.

Ms Lanning, who lives in Taiwan, told us Carrefour has reduced the retail prices on the O' Organics items a couple of times since they were introduced. She says this happens often in Taiwan because it's can be difficult to get local Taiwanese consumers to try American products.
"This happens a lot in Taiwan (lowering prices from the original retails)," Lanning told us. "Carrefour, especially, will try out new products, and if they don't sell, we'll never see them again."

As an example, Lanning said last year Carrefour introduced peanut M&M's in their Taiwan stores. "I think I ended up buying about 30 bags in a span of two months, since the price kept getting cheaper and cheaper," she said. "But no Taiwanese were gutsy enough to buy them." The peanut M&M's were discontinued by the Carrefour store.

Market Place by Jason's, an upscale retail food store format of Hong Kong's Wellcome supermarket chain, also is selling O' Organics organic grocery items in Taiwan, as we mentioned above, and reported in our previous stories.

The Market Place by Jason's format was just created this year (2007), and there are currently four stores open to date. The retailer created the upscale, natural-specialty foods format to target the growing consumer demand in the region for natural, organic, and international specialty foods and products. The Jason's stores in Taiwan are carrying about the same number of O' Organics items as Carrefour is in its Taiwan stores.

We thank Rachel Lanning for her field reporting for us, and for the photographs.

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