Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

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storewanderer
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Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by storewanderer » June 25th, 2018, 5:40 pm

https://www.missoulacurrent.com/busines ... food-farm/

Does not seem conclusive, but, interesting in any case... Associated was by far the biggest promoter of Western Family products...

I wonder if Western Family brand is going away entirely?

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Re: Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by Super S » June 25th, 2018, 7:59 pm

It may just be due to the fact that independent grocers are drying up. But I will say that it has been a few years since I have seen the brand anywhere.

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Re: Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by rwsandiego » June 25th, 2018, 8:18 pm

storewanderer wrote:
June 25th, 2018, 5:40 pm
https://www.missoulacurrent.com/busines ... food-farm/

Does not seem conclusive, but, interesting in any case... Associated was by far the biggest promoter of Western Family products...

I wonder if Western Family brand is going away entirely?
Well, they were acquired by Topco in 2016, so maybe Topco wants to focus on Food Club and its historical private labels.

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Re: Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by storewanderer » June 25th, 2018, 9:54 pm

Super S wrote:
June 25th, 2018, 7:59 pm
It may just be due to the fact that independent grocers are drying up. But I will say that it has been a few years since I have seen the brand anywhere.
Maybe in Portland there isn't much distribution of Western Family anymore (nobody comes to mind other than the few Thriftways), but in general in the Northwest there is pretty good distribution of that label still given the independents in the rural (Sherm's in Southern Oregon, McKay's along the coast, etc.) areas along with URM. I also suspect this has something to do with Supervalu buying Unified... and putting more of its own Essential Everyday stuff into the Unified Stores...

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Re: Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by SamSpade » June 26th, 2018, 10:09 am

storewanderer wrote:
June 25th, 2018, 9:54 pm
Super S wrote:
June 25th, 2018, 7:59 pm
It may just be due to the fact that independent grocers are drying up. But I will say that it has been a few years since I have seen the brand anywhere.
Maybe in Portland there isn't much distribution of Western Family anymore (nobody comes to mind other than the few Thriftways), but in general in the Northwest there is pretty good distribution of that label still given the independents in the rural (Sherm's in Southern Oregon, McKay's along the coast, etc.) areas along with URM. I also suspect this has something to do with Supervalu buying Unified... and putting more of its own Essential Everyday stuff into the Unified Stores...
New Seasons (given, not a big private label store, but still a large customer of SVU) has swapped over to SuperValu private labels. I will notice the next time I swing into Market of Choice (regional upscale grocer, but with a deeper mix) and Bales.

Associated Foods Stores has used Western Family for years, but as pointed out above, TopCo did buy out Western Family and closed their offices in Tigard.
https://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/3 ... adquarters

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Re: Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by Brian Lutz » June 26th, 2018, 10:42 am

Up here, the only "chain" grocer I'm aware of selling Western Family products is Saar's.

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Re: Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by storewanderer » June 26th, 2018, 10:51 pm

Food Club has not been distributed much in the west. I think Haggen had a few random Food Club items. I don't think I've ever seen anyone sell Food Club in CA. Scolaris in NV (back then they had 4 CA Stores too so maybe those were the lone outposts for Food Club in CA) used to have Food Club for a while before closing its warehouse, and Bashas in AZ I believe has Food Club.

It probably makes sense for Topco to centralize "independent store" private label under one name as they are currently supporting Food Club, Western Family, two different versions of Shur Fine, and who knows what else. That should result in lower costs to the independents and an opportunity for more depth of mix.

Save Mart would probably be wise to pick up Food Club as well vs. their current very confused program involving Market Essentials on some items and Sunny Select on others with no clear definition as to what item has what label. Anything they can do to support more competitive pricing and sending a more clear message to the customer, they should do. Centralizing private label under Food Club would be a great idea.

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Re: Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by babs » June 27th, 2018, 8:30 am

New Seasons now has Everyday Essentials and Wild Harvest. I won't buy any of it. I remember it as Albertsons store brand. My perception of the brand is framed by what I saw at Albertsons: Poor store quality and over priced.

Probably not a smart decision for a high end grocery store to stock as their new store brand a label that has such a poor reputation in the market. But sales results will ultimately determine that.

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Re: Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by storewanderer » June 27th, 2018, 7:18 pm

babs wrote:
June 27th, 2018, 8:30 am
New Seasons now has Everyday Essentials and Wild Harvest. I won't buy any of it. I remember it as Albertsons store brand. My perception of the brand is framed by what I saw at Albertsons: Poor store quality and over priced.

Probably not a smart decision for a high end grocery store to stock as their new store brand a label that has such a poor reputation in the market. But sales results will ultimately determine that.
I am not really sure those products belong in New Seasons in the first place. Maybe Wild Harvest... not sure how many customers will connect that to Albertsons since it was marketed so poorly. Wild Harvest was originally a Shaw's brand.

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Re: Western Family being replaced by Food Club at Associated Food Stores??

Post by SamSpade » June 28th, 2018, 3:48 pm

I was traveling through the county seat of Valley County, Idaho (Cascade) and stopped at D-9 Market. Associated Foods, noted on exterior and "home of Western Family." Now, inside, the Topco merger was much more apparent. Still Western Family in high turnover items like dairy, but Food Club, Valutime, Top care, Full Circle Organics had slowly crept in all over.

Near register 1 there was a poster that actually looks like marketing to co-op members, not their customers... About "all their in-house brands." WF was on there but so were many others.

I've noticed as packaging is being livened up for store labels (ie Great Value, Market Pantry), WF has stayed static. Perhaps it was time to update & making Food Club the dominant store label made sense.

Associated has a few of its own too, like Red Button Creamery.

https://goo.gl/maps/HKdagdisERx

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