For more than 65 years, Town & Country Markets has served the residents of Washington’s Puget Sound region with a focus on offering a shopping experience built around the love of food and beverages.
Now, as the six-store regional chain approaches its 70th anniversary, the grocer is expanding its food and beverage options with the recent launch of its private label EveryDay Milk line, which follows the recent launch of its EveryDay assortment of free-range eggs.
But this is just the beginning for Town & Country as plans call for additional items such as coffee, honey and maple syrup to be added to the EveryDay line.
Recently, Dwight Richmond, director of Center Store for Town & Country, spoke with Store Brands to offer insight into the grocer’s current private brand efforts and plans for continued expansion in 2023 and beyond.
STORE BRANDS: What factors motivated Town & Country to develop a label assortment?
DWIGHT RICHMOND: There were several reasons. I think the biggest is that this allows us to put our brand directly in the homes of shoppers and offer them quality products at a good value. When we started, we wanted to focus on basic categories such as milk and eggs. We then worked to identify local and regional suppliers that could provide us the products we needed.
SB: What was the criteria for Town & Country as the company started looking for product suppliers for the EveryDay assortment?
DR: First and foremost we are blessed to be in an area of the Pacific Northwest where there are many great sources of food. We wanted to identify local and regional suppliers at first who could provide us with products for our customers that are of exceptional quality and value. For example, we were able to partner with an egg supplier that gives us both. When you crack open the egg, the yolk is a bright orange, and they are able to deliver quality products at a great price. For other categories, such as maple syrup, we knew we would have to look beyond our local area for a supplier.
SB: What are the advantages to Town & Country offering a private brand assortment?
DR: As I mentioned earlier, it allows us to keep the Town & Country name out there in front of consumers. It also allows us to have some additional control over the supply chain and maintain consistency with our suppliers in terms of product quality.
SB: How are the initial products in Town & Country’s private brand assortment unique or different from other similar products?
DR: With our egg program, I feel we have added a better quality product that gives our guests another option, but at the same price as what we were offering previously. Our private label milk allowed us to work with local suppliers. It was also important to me to figure out how to get our team members excited about the new products that would help build guest loyalty around the new brand. (The company held a contest that asked employees to submit designs for the milk cartons.)
SB: There are a handful of other categories that will be added to the EveryDay assortment. Why were these categories chosen?
DR: Coffee, for example, is our best performing category and well felt it would be wise to get into that category. Honey is a near-and-dear product to us and one we knew we could source locally. As for maple syrup, this is a top selling category for us. And we went all the way to Vermont and will be carrying 100% unique Vermont maple syrup under our brand.
SB: What is the long term plan for the EveryDay branded assortment?
DR: Over the next year or so our goal is to have 50 to 75 SKUs across multiple categories. Our goal is to meet our customers needs in highly consumable categories. We feel the products under the brand will provide our guests a great value differentiator.