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Retailers get creative with savory fall flavors

This fall, shoppers can see signs of innovation in seasonal private-label products that not only include sweet treats designed to foster warm and cozy feelings, but also branch into new categories that build on consumer desire for savory fall flavors.

4 min read

FoodFood Retail

Trader Joe's

Private brands represent a large opportunity for grocers, and 8 in 10 industry executives intend to boost investment in private label over the next two years, according to The Power of Private Brands 2023: Innovation that Drives Winning Private Brands report from FMI — the Food Industry Association. FMI also found that 77% of shoppers who currently buy store brands plan to buy even more in the future and 100% of retailers surveyed agreed that innovation in private-label products is important to pursue. This fall, shoppers can see signs of that innovation in seasonal private-label products that not only include sweet treats designed to foster warm and cozy feelings, but also branch into new categories that build on consumer desire for savory fall flavors.

Here are five retailers with products that are incorporating shoppers’ tried-and-true favorite fall flavors into private-label delights.

Trader Joe’s

A retailer well-known and loved for its private-label line, Trader Joe’s pulls out all the stops for fall. This year’s lineup includes Fall Harvest Salsa which features fire-roasted tomatillos, chunks of honey-roasted heirloom Dickinson pumpkin and diced butternut squash combined with jalapenos, chopped sweet apples, honey, vinegar and lime for what the grocer calls the, “salsification of New England with a Latin twist.”

A returning seasonal favorite is Trader Joe’s own brand Organic Maple Vinaigrette Dressing which debuted on shelves last fall. The popular dressing’s sweet organic maple syrup is balanced with apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard and lemon and orange juices.

“This is pretty versatile,” said Matt Sloan, Trader Joe’s director of marketing on the grocer’s most recent podcast. “This makes a great marinade. If you wanted to marinate chicken, vegetables, other things, and either grill or roast them, this works really, really well. … Even if you were doing a pan sauté or something approximating a stir fry, a little bit of this vinaigrette would work really well there too.” 

H.E. Butt Grocery

Image credit: H-E-B

Leave it to Texas grocery chain H-E-B to bring fall flavors to bacon. The retailer’s private-label Hayride Thick Cut Bacon is hand-seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and pumpkin. 

H-E-B also bakes up a breakfast treat with savory fall flavors in the form of H-E-B Bakery Pumpkin Empanadas. Filled with a spiced pumpkin filling, the grab-and-go delicacies are made with wheat dough and are sold in four-count trays.

Southeastern Grocers:

SEG is no stranger to creating award-winning private-label products (the retailer received 150 awards so far this year and recently debuted a new clean-label line). The grocer’s limited-edition private-label fall offerings include its Prestige Pumpkin Spice Latte ice cream which was “specially curated to embrace the cozy and warm sentiments of autumn,” according to a

Image credit: SEG

statement. The frozen treat mixes in espresso flakes and a swirl of vanilla cream in a rich pumpkin ice cream.

“We’ve put a lot of thought and effort into the creation of these items to ensure they capture the essence of autumn, while maintaining an unwavering commitment to exceptional quality at an affordable price,” SEG’s Chief Merchandising Officer Dewayne Rabon said in a statement regarding the retailer’s fall private-label line.


Image credit: Target

Target’s private-label brands delivered sales of more than $30 billion last year – a success stemming from the retailer’s strategy to elevate its private-label brands from a means to increase profit to a loyalty-inspiring innovation driver. This year, Target debuted more than 20 new seasonal private-label items for fall, priced as low as $1.99. In addition to fall favorite flavors such as apple cider and apple across cookies and doughnuts in its sweets categories, the lineup includes the savory fall flavors offering with the Honey Pumpkin Goat Cheese Ravioli from its Good & Gather line.

The Fresh Market

Fall-inspired flavors find their way into the coffee aisle at The Fresh Market where the grocer’s private label offerings include Pumpkin Spice and Pecan Pie coffees. The retailer also adds some unique fall sweet flavors to salty snacks in the form of White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Almonds and Pumpkin Spice and Spooky Drizzle Pretzels.

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