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Trader Joe`s and the Natural Food Channel

  • February 2014
  • -
  • Packaged Facts
  • -
  • 136 pages

Renowned for its quirky personality and unique products, Trader Joe’s Co. is an $11.3 billion, not-quite-nationwide, chain of more than 400 small-footprint stores that likewise appeal to both natural food shoppers and gourmets and command intense fandom. Unlike conventional supermarkets, Trader Joe’s is a destination: a place consumers seek out and travel to over long distances. The chain’s retail strengths echo market strategies similar to its competitor Whole Foods, as both seek to capitalize on growing consumer interest in natural and organic products. In many ways, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods also have very similar—and actually often the same—customers. Yet, the striking differences between the two chains are what keep the same consumers shopping at both. At Trader Joe’s, the focus is a sharply edited assortment of great products at great prices. At Whole Foods, the focus is premium quality and huge selection.

In separate chapters, Trader Joe’s and the Natural Food Channel analyzes Trader Joe’s historical growth and expansion strategies, mission/position, store location and design, product standards and programs, use of private label, pricing, advertising and use of social media, organizational structure, ethical and environmental initiatives, consumer demographics and psychographics, and more.

In addition the Retail Competitors chapter examines the wave of up-and-coming competitors in the natural foods space. In the past two years, several growth-oriented specialty food retailers and natural food chains—including Sprouts Farmers Market, The Fresh Market, Fairway Market, and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage—tapped the stock market with initial public offerings (IPOs). Natural Markets Food Group, which owns the Mrs. Green’s Natural Market chain, is said to be eyeing an IPO as well. Then there is startup company Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, backed by Midwest-based supercenter retailer Meijer Co. It also is strongly rumored that billionaire investor Ron Burkle’s private equity firm Yucaipa Cos. plans to revive the Wild Oats Market name, converting the Fresh & Easy stores it acquired from Tesco Plc in November 2013 into Wild Oats natural foods markets. No. 1 supermarket operator Kroger Co., which maintains more than 2,400 stores across the country under regional banners including Kroger, Ralph’s, and Fry’s, is also making a play for the natural and organic food space and considers itself the second-largest player in this market after Whole Foods.

Each chapter contains copious tables, charts, graphs, and illustrations that reinforce and make easy to grasp points made in the text.

Our sources of information for Trader Joe’s and the Natural Food Channel include primary research entailing interviews with retailers and other members of the industry, and on-site examination of retail stores. Secondary research involved the evaluation and comparison of data from articles found in financial, marketing, and industry publications, as well as on corresponding websites and in consumer social media. Other sources for secondary data include annual reports, 10-Ks, transcripts of earnings calls, and literature from individual companies. Consumer data are derived from Simmons National Consumer Surveys for Summer 2013, from Experian Marketing Services.

Whole Foods and the Natural Food Channel (February 2014) is also available from Packaged Facts as a companion report. Chapters 3 and 4 in these reports contain parallel content. If you purchase Trader Joe’s and the Natural Food Channel, receive a $750 discount on our Whole Foods report.

Table Of Contents

Trader Joe`s and the Natural Food Channel
Chapter 1: Executive Summary
Capsule Profile
Competition from Other Retailers
Savvy Group of Consumers
Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market
Table 1-1: Trader Joe's vs. Whole Foods Market, 2013
Upsurge of Competition in Natural Foods
Table 1-2: Selected Fresh and Natural Foods Competitors, 2013
13% of Adults Shop at Trader Joe's
Figure 1-1: Share of U.S. Adults Who Shop in Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Natural Food Channel, 2014 (percent)
Figure 1-2: Share of U.S. Population Shopping at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, 2013 (percent)
Percentage of Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Shoppers on the Ups
Table 1-3: Trends in Retail Shopping, 2004-2013 (percent of U.S. adults)
High Socioeconomic Status Characterizes Trader Joe's and Whole
Foods Market Shoppers
AttitudesToward Food
Shopping Attitudes and Behaviors
Attitudes and Behaviors Toward Environmental Concerns
Trader Joe's Shoppers Healthier, More Willing to Grocery Shop Using
Technology
Organic and Whole Grains Among Labels Most Sought Out by Trader Joe's Shoppers
Figure 1-3: Characteristics Sought Out by Consumers When Food Shopping,2014 (percent)
Chapter 2: Trader Joe's
Capsule Profile
Table 2-1a: Growth of Trader Joe's, 2008-2014, estimate A
Table 2-1b: Growth of Trader Joe's, 2008-2012, estimate B
Founding and Expansion
Illustration 2-1: Trader Joe's First Store in Pasadena, CA, 1967
Illustration 2-2: The Original Pasadena Store is Still Open at the Same Location
Potential for Online Sales
Trader Joe's and ALDI
Illustration 2-3: ALDI Private Label Brands
All Growth Is Self-Financed
Reputation for Reticence—or Secrecy
Mission/Position
Stores
Illustration 2-4: Trader Joe's Store in Saugus, MA, November 2012
Decor and Store Layout
Illustration 2-5: Frozen Food Aisle in Trader Joe's Store in Las Vegas, November 2013
Illustration 2-6: Produce Section in Trader Joe's Las Vegas, November 2013
Carefully Curated Product Mix
Illustration 2-7: Extensive Cheese Selection in Trader Joe's Las Vegas,November 2013
Product Standards and Programs
Illustration 2-8: Trader Joe's Dietary Icons and Product Lists
Illustration 2-9: TJ's Recipes, December 2013
Illustration 2-10: Trader Joe's Guides
Trader Joe's Is Built Around Private Label
Cheese
Illustration 2-11: Trader Joe's Creamy Toscano Cheese Soaked in Syrah
Illustration 2-12: Trader Joe's New Zealand Grass Fed Sharp Cheddar
Frozen Foods
Illustration 2-13: Trader Joe's Aloo Chaat Kati Pouches
Illustration 2-14: Trader Joe's Edamame Rangoons
Grocery
Illustration 2-15: Trader Joe's Fig Butter
Produce
Illustration 2-16: Trader Joe's Healthy 8 Chopped Veggie Mix
Illustration 2-17: Trader Joe's Kale and Edamame Bistro Salad
Refrigerated Foods
Illustration 2-18: Trader Jose's Carne Asada Autentica
Illustration 2-19: Trader Joe's Sushi Rolls
Snacks and Sweets
Illustration 2-20: Trader Joe's Beurre Meuniere Popcorn
Illustration 2-21: Trader Joe's Gluten Free Joe-Joe's
Illustration 2-22: Trader Joe's Mini Panettone
Illustration 2-23: Trader Joe's PBandJ Milk Chocolate Bar
Illustration 2-24: Trader Joe's Pumpkin Macarons
Wines and Beers
Illustration 2-25: Trader Joe's Vintage Ale
Most Popular Products in 2013
Illustration 2-26: Trader Joe's 2013 Top 25 Customer Favorite Products
Illustration 2-27: Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps, No. 1 in 2013
Illustration 2-28: Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Illustration 2-29: Trader Joe's Pesto Gouda
Illustration 2-30: Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken
Illustration 2-31: Spinach and Kale Greek Yogurt Dip
The Cookie Butter that Conquered the World
Illustration 2-32: Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter
Two Buck Chuck
Illustration 2-33: Display of Charles Shaw Wines in Trader Joe's Austin, TX
Trader Joe's Pricing
Fun Atmosphere Part of its Strength
Organizational Structure
Illustration 2-34: Trader Joe's Employees
Purchasing Structure
Company Spirit and Teamwork
Trader Joe's Cutting Healthcare Benefits
Ethical and Environmental Positions
Advertising and Marketing
Illustration 2-35: Cartoon from Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer
Illustration 2-36: Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer, 2013 Holiday Edition
Illustration 2-37: Fearless Flyer Online Ad for Scallops Wrapped in Bacon
No Social Media
Illustration 2-38: Whimsical Banner on Trader Joe's Website
Community Involvement
Criticism and Controversies
Trader Joe's Sues Pirate Joes, Unsuccessfully
Activists Target Trader Joe's for Allowing Antibiotics in Meat
Lawsuit Filed over Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Pretzels
Chapter 3: Retail Competition
Competition from Other Retailers
Savvy Group of Consumers
Trader Joe's Fans Are Strong Advocates
Trader Joe's and Whole Foods
Table 3-1: Trader Joe's vs. Whole Foods Market, 2013
Upsurge of Competition in Natural Foods
Table 3-2: Selected Fresh and Natural Foods Competitors, 2013
Sprouts Farmers Market Positions as Less Expensive
Illustration 3-1: Exterior of Sprouts Farmers Market in Redondo Beach, CA
Illustration 3-2: Interior of a Sprouts Farmers Market
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Planning Major Expansion
Illustration 3-3: Cover of Prospectus for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Illustration 3-4: Natural Grocers Storefront
The Fresh Market Tries Expanding from Regional to National
Illustration 3-5: The Fresh Market, Rendering of Interior
Fairway Market
Illustration 3-6: Interior of Fairway Market in Nanuet, NY
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market Just Starting Up
Illustration 3-7: Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Rendering of Exterior
Illustration 3-8: Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Rendering of Interior
Will Wild Oats Return?
Illustration 3-9: An Old Wild Oats Store
The Fresh and Easy Fiasco
Mrs. Green's Natural Markets
Illustration 3-10: Mrs. Green's Natural Market
Kroger Targeting Natural and Organic Foods
Illustration 3-11: A Kroger Marketplace Store
Chapter 4: The Natural Food Store Shopper
About the Consumer Survey Data
13% of Adults Shop at Trader Joe's
Figure 4-1: Share of U.S. Adults Who Shop in Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Independent Natural Food Channel, 2014 (percent)
Figure 4-2: Share of U.S. Population Shopping at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, 2013 (percent)
Percentage of WF/TJ Shoppers on the Ups
Table 4-1: Trends in Retail Shopping, 2004-2013 (percent of U.S. adults)
High Socioeconomic Status Characterizes Trader Joe's and
Whole Foods Shoppers
Least Likely Shoppers Have Low Education and Income
Table 4-2: Selected High-Index Demographics of Trader Joe's vs. Whole Foods Shoppers, 2013 (index)
Table 4-3: Demographic Overview of Trader Joe's Shoppers, 2013 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
Table 4-4: Demographic Overview of Whole Foods Market Shoppers, 2013 (percent, number and index of U.S. adults)
Attitudes Toward Food
Table 4-5: Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Food: All Consumers vs. Any Supermarket/Supercenter, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods Shoppers, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
Trader Joe's Shoppers Both Healthier and More Willing to Grocery Shop Using Technology
Table 4-6: Consumer Attitudes/Opinions Toward Food: All Consumers vs. Trader Joe's, Whole Foods Market, and Independent Natural
Food Store Shoppers, 2014 (percent)
Organic, Whole Grains Among Tags Sought Out by Trader Joe's Shoppers
Figure 4-3: Characteristics Sought Out by Consumers When Food Shopping, 2014 (percent)
48% of Trader Joe's Shoppers Spend $100 or More Per Week on Groceries
Figure 4-4: About How Much Do You Spend Weekly On Grocery Shopping?, 2014 (percent)
Shopping Attitudes and Behaviors
Table 4-7: Consumer Attitudes/Behaviors Toward Shopping: All Consumers vs. Any Supermarket/ Supercenter, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods Shoppers, 2013 (percent and index of U.S. adults)
Attitudes and Behaviors Toward Environmental Concerns
Table 4-8: Consumer Attitudes/Behaviors Toward Environmental Concerns: All Grocery Shoppers vs. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Shoppers, 2013 (percent any agree and index of U.S. adults)

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