CHARLOTTE, N.C., September 29, 2017 – Do you have an affinity for locally-sourced products? Do you know if the brands you buy are local to your area? In a survey conducted with e-VIC customers, Harris Teeter discovered that many of its shoppers are unaware of the number of local products the grocer offers. The majority of shoppers surveyed indicated they want to shop with retailers who support local companies, but they often time don’t know where to find these local products. This disconnect and opportunity led to the creation of HT Home Town, a chain-wide program that celebrates 33 local products, some well-established and some emerging brands, yet all with local connections to markets across Harris Teeter’s footprint. Participating brands are identified by in-store, custom Home Town tags.
The study, conducted by Concentric, found that 77 percent of Harris Teeter shoppers would be more likely to purchase a product if they knew that it had been produced locally. When asked why local products appealed to them, shoppers said, “I want to support my local community;” “Local brands feel exclusive to my area;” and “These brands create jobs and economic growth in my area.”
HT Home Town shares the many close-to-home connections of the featured brands. The year-long initiative utilizes traditional media, digital advertising and social media, along with Harris Teeter’s in-store magazine Dish to communicate the brands’ unique stories.
Each brand featured in Home Town has its own unique story. If you want farm-fresh canned goods, Margaret Holmes is a name to remember. They are owned by the 177 year-old McCall Farms, a family-operated company based in Effingham, SC. For their success they credit their 100+ hard-working growers and their families, most within two hours of their packing facility. Their heart is as good as their veggies, too: in 2015 alone, they donated more than 100,000 pounds of food to more than 20 food banks and other organizations within a 120-mile radius of their production facilities.
In 2009, Jason Burke embarked on a journey to improve his health. Portable protein kept him going in his active lifestyle, but he had high standards for whole foods and was not satisfied with what was on the market. So he started making jerky in his kitchen. Three years (and six dehydrators) later The New Primal was born in Charleston, SC.
For over 30 years, Peggy and Paul Lieber have been perfecting the use of botanicals and natural ingredients for a wide range of personal care products. Through Deep Steep, a family business in Johns Island, SC, their love for creating high integrity products has come to life. Their products are free of harmful ingredients like phthalates, parabens and phenoxyethanol. Deep Steep believes in the importance of taking care of each other and the planet we all share. From the products they make, and the policies they follow when making them, to the guiding principles that underpin their company culture, they strive to make positive and meaningful contributions to this World.
HT Home Town also tells Harris Teeter’s own story - sharing its neighborly side, going beyond a smile and courteous service. As the grocer expands into new markets and introduces itself to new communities, Harris Teeter pledges to preserve its Home Town spirit. It’s the Harris Teeter way of doing business, benefitting local economies, local institutions, and local people. Pledges such as the 5.8 million pounds of food donated to local food banks in 2016, and the over 26 million dollars contributed to local schools through its Together in Education program since its 1998 creation.
Supporting and giving back to its local community has been at the heart of Harris Teeter’s mission for over 80 years. Ever since W.T. Harris and W.L. Teeter got together, the focus has been on people: as customers and as neighbors. As Harris Teeter grew as a business, so did the philosophy of community support. Each new store brings a new neighborhood to serve as a grocer and as a community member. This spirit is present in everything from local sports, to education, to regionally-sourced products, to jobs, to food banks, to disaster relief, to helping U.S. service men and women…and the list goes on. When it comes to being a good neighbor, the possibilities are limitless.
"We’re excited about the launch of HT Home Town in our stores, and we expect the program to highlight the extensive number of locally produced products available to our valued shoppers on a regular basis,” said Danna Robinson, communication manager for Harris Teeter. “Our end goal is to feature the various ways Harris Teeter supports local communities, not only through important community service initiatives, but also through the products our buyers carefully select for each department.”
The HT Home Town campaign was conceived by Charlotte-based brand development firm, Concentric. The firm worked directly with Harris Teeter to create a way to highlight local brands in the store after discovering that so many Harris Teeter shoppers weren’t making the local connection. As Bob Shaw, President of Concentric explains, "As more and more Grocers spread their footprint across each other's markets, it's important to recognize the few long standing commitments of a truly ‘"local"’ brand. Harris Teeter and the 33 brands in its Home Town program are part of the fabric of our area and Concentric is proud to bring their interconnected stories to life.”
Harris Teeter, with headquarters in Matthews, N.C., is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). The regional grocery chain employs approximately 30,000 associates and operates stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia.
Concentric is a specialized brand development firm dedicated to helping mid-market CPG brands achieve meaningful growth. With over 18 years of focused experience serving over 300 brands, the firm employs specialists in a range of disciplines from business planning and trade strategy to market insights and innovation. The model is built to serve the specific needs of today’s emerging CPG brands. For more information, please visit www.getconcentric.com.
More information on the HT Home Town program, including all participating brands, can be found at www.harristeeter.com/ht-hometown#/app/cms.