September 3, 2008
SUPERVALU Launches Its New Exclusive Culinary Circle(TM) Brand of Premium Foods
At a time when consumers are increasingly looking for ways to stretch their food budgets without sacrificing quality and taste, SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU) today announced the launch of its new Culinary Circle(TM) brand of premium food lovers' foods. The brand enables consumers to enjoy restaurant-quality food right at home easily and affordably, and is available nationwide at the company's family of grocery stores, including Acme, Albertsons, bigg's, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw's/Star Market, Shop 'n Save and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy.
The Culinary Circle brand will initially feature more than 150 items in the deli, bakery, frozen and center store aisles. Offerings range from on-the-go meals, elegant hors d'oeuvres and gourmet spreads to high-end desserts and artisan breads. Culinary Circle products will be priced approximately 20 to 25 percent below casual restaurant food and about 10 to 15 percent lower than other premium national brands.
"The rising cost of gas and other household necessities makes it harder for many consumers to justify dining out as often as they'd like," said Chad Terrell, Culinary Circle brand manager. "Our line-up of chef-inspired Culinary Circle products is designed to bring affordable, quality meals to the dining room, and help meet the needs of consumers who love to eat out and sample different kinds of foods or indulge in the kinds of meals they simply don't have the time to make at home.
"Culinary Circle brings families back to their own dining rooms with the quality and unique variety of food found on casual dining restaurant menus," continued Terrell.
A recent study conducted by the Food Marketing Institute found that more than 70 percent of Americans are dining out less often due to economic concerns.(1) At the same time, consumers have become increasingly accustomed to a broader and more unique array of foods through restaurants, travel and televised cooking shows. So despite the economy, they continue to have high expectations for the foods they eat, seeking out meals with bold or unexpected flavors or delicious aromas.(2)
"Culinary Circle exemplifies SUPERVALU's continued focus on being a customer-centric organization," said Duncan Mac Naughton, executive vice president, SUPERVALU merchandising and marketing. "Significant research and understanding of consumer insights went into the development of the brand, which has enabled us to appeal directly to consumers' desire for premium products that help them recreate the casual restaurant experiences they've come to enjoy, at a fraction of the cost."
Inspired by the cuisine at some of today's most popular restaurants, Culinary Circle products offer the latest in flavor trends and are made with unique, fresh, high-quality ingredients. Choices in the Culinary Circle line range from traditional favorites to original items, some of which include:
-- Pork Carnitas Enchilada Casserole
-- Rotisserie Chicken
-- Chicken Marsala over Linguini
-- Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes
-- Oven Roasted Vegetables
-- Chicken Noodle
-- Tuscan Tomato & Vegetable
-- Ultra Thin Chicken Alfredo
-- Ultra Thin Margherita
-- Rising Crust Spicy Italian Sausage
-- Pineapple Upside Down Cake
-- White & Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake
-- Key Lime White Chocolate Homestyle Crisp Cookies
-- White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Homestyle Crisp Cookies
-- Chocolate Brownie Soft & Chewy Cookies
-- Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies
-- Jamaican Style Jerk
-- Raspberry Chipotle
-- Shanghai Five Spice Teriyaki
The story behind the circle
Each Culinary Circle package bears a semi-circular logo that evokes the drizzle of chocolate or a specialty sauce on a restaurant plate known as the "chef's mark," the finishing touch to fine dishes. Presented in palette-pleasing colors of espresso brown and metallic copper, the design adds a touch of elegance to the brand and the feel of a contemporary kitchen. Packages feature high-level photography that depicts the hand-created quality of the products, and copy that emphasizes the authentic ingredients or special cooking techniques that help bring each item to life.
Consumers can find easy recipes incorporating Culinary Circle products online at www.culinarycircle.com. The recipes include ideas for appetizers, entrees and desserts, and can be made by combining a Culinary Circle product with everyday grocery items. Many can be made in as little as 10 minutes, such as "Shanghai Chicken Wings" made with frozen chicken wings, Culinary Circle Shanghai Five Spice Teriyaki Sauce and green onions, or "Macaroon Key Lime Parfaits" made with key lime yogurt, kiwi fruit, raspberries and Culinary Circle Macaroon Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Culinary Circle joins several SUPERVALU private-label brands, including Wild Harvest(TM), Baby Basics, Java Delight, Homelife and Shoppers Value.
For more information about the line of Culinary Circle products, visit www.culinarycircle.com or call 1-877-932-7948.
About SUPERVALU INC.
SUPERVALU INC. is one of the largest companies in the United States grocery channel with estimated annual sales of $44 billion. SUPERVALU holds leading market share positions across the U.S. with its approximately 2,475 retail grocery locations, including nearly 920 in-store pharmacies. Through SUPERVALU's nationwide supply chain network, the company provides distribution and related logistics support services to more than 5,000 grocery endpoints across the country. SUPERVALU currently has approximately 192,000 employees. For more information about SUPERVALU visit www.supervalu.com.
(1) Food Marketing Institute (FMI), FMI Grocery Shopper Trends 2008: Economic Concerns Shaping How Consumers Shop, Cook, Dine
(2) Information Resources Inc., Times & Trends, a Snapshot of Trends Shaping the CPG Industry, CPG 2007 Year in Review: Emerging Trends Shaping 2008 Opportunity