Publix expands private label offerings

Publix Super Market plans to expand the mix of store-brand seafood soups, chowders, sauces and butters in its refrigerated seafood cases.
The Lakeland, Fla.-based supermarket chain, with 1,001 stores across the Southeast, in February launched a line of seafood Finishing Butters in three flavors: Cajun, Lemon Herb and Sun-Dried Tomato. The 4-ounce brightly-colored packages retail for around USD 2.99 (EUR 2.26) each.
Publix-brand Finishing Sauces in Seafood Newburg, Scampi and Lemon Dill flavors have also been popular with its shoppers.
"We decided to launch these finishing sauces to assist our customers in the preparation of seafood, to make life easier for them in the kitchen, and to save time," said Publix spokesperson Maria Brous.
In fact, the retailer plans to add other flavors of butters and sauces to the line.
"We are happy with the results to date," said Brous.
Private label sauces and butters were developed, she said, to "bring a unique, high quality product to a category." And sales trends show that Publix is not the only supermarket chain to expand its private label offerings for seafood sauces.
While sales of branded seafood sauces dropped 3 percent for the 52 weeks ending 21 March, 2009, sales of private label seafood sauces jumped 7.1 percent during the same period, according to The Nielsen Co. Nielsen tracked sales of pre-packaged, pre-weighed seafood-sauce products with UPC codes in food, drug, and mass merchandise stores, including Wal-Mart.
Publix also plans to add to its line of store-brand refrigerated seafood soups and chowders. Last February, it launched three soups: New England Clam Chowder, Crab & Corn Chowder and Lobster Bisque. The soups, sold in 10-ounce plastic containers, retail for an average of USD 4.99 (EUR 3.77) each.
"Customer response has been good," said Brous. "We have several additional flavor profiles created that we will rotate into the mix."


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