In her nearly 20 years at Iowa-based grocery chain Hy-Vee, Donna Tweeten has made countless impacts for the retailer, including playing a large role in the creation and merchandising of private brands.
As a master marketer, Tweeten has led all aspects of the retailer’s private brand strategy, from deciding on the offerings and go-to market approach, as well as how they are marketed to increase customer interest. Tweeten works to drive creativity and innovation, and has positioned Hy-Vee’s store brands as experiential, value-driven and customer-focused.
She and her team have curated a lineup of private brands that meet a wide variety of consumer needs in nearly every category including canned goods, bread, snacks, drinks, health items such as gluten-free Good Graces snacks and meal offerings, and high-end, curated culinary experiences like Gustare Vita Italian products.
Tweeten’s recent marketing accomplishments are multi-faceted. Hy-Vee sponsored the NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader races in Newton, Iowa, which included a festival-like atmosphere with music, food and family-focused entertainment. In 2021, Tweeten developed the Scan the Code campaign, encouraging customers to scan an H-shaped QR code to find deals on Hy-VeeDeals.com and begin accessing coupons online, including featured deals on store brand products. She also spearheaded re-tooling Helpful Smiles TV (HSTV.com), Hy-Vee’s streaming network, which now includes the ability to shop while you watch. This content also features Hy-Vee's store brands.
Prior to the TWISB Lifetime Achievement award, Tweeten received ample praise for her contributions to the world of grocery at Hy-Vee. She was named one of Progressive Grocer’s Top Women in Grocery in 2011, 2013 and 2019, among a slew of other awards. Prior to her time at Hy-Vee, she received the Gold ADDY, which is one of the top national advertising honors, and she was also recognized as the Producer of the Year by the Des Moines Advertising Professionals Group. Donna was Alumni of the Year for Drake University School of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2006.
Not only is Tweeten instrumental to Hy-Vee’s private brand development, she plays a key role in the grocery’s charitable partnerships. In partnership with Feeding America, she led Hy-Vee to raise more than $1,082,000 in food and supplies that was distributed among 17 Feeding America-affiliated food banks. She also initiated Hy-Vee’s presenting partnership with Iowa Stops Hunger in 2020, a yearlong statewide program to drive awareness and action around hunger and food insecurity.
Other charitable programs Tweeten has helped develop include Hy-Vee’s One Step program, where employees – both current and retired – are encouraged to donate their time toward community efforts, and Hy-Vee KidsFit, which promotes healthy lifestyles for kids and families through online video tutorials, fitness workbooks, and more, just to name a few.