ANKENY, Iowa—Casey’s General Stores has rolled out a line of private-label carbonated soft drinks (CSDs), juices and ready-to-drink (RTD) iced teas and lemonades, the company reports.
The soft drinks come in 20-ounce bottles and in six flavors: Blue Raspberry, Cream Soda, Fruit Punch, Root Beer, Orange Soda and Grape Soda. Two-liter bottles of Cola, Root Beer, Lemon-Lime and Orange Soda are also available. The teas are available in sweet and unsweetened raspberry or green tea flavors; juices include apple, orange and cranberry, and the lemonades are regular and raspberry lemonade.
“As we relaunch our private-brand program, all of our items will carry the banner name Casey’s on the packaging,” said Eric Long, director of private brands, Casey’s. “This exciting new line of great tasting products are national-brand equivalent or better and an opportunity for our guests to save money without sacrificing quality.”
The chain has offered private-label bottled water, bagged candies and automotive items in the past. In addition to beverages, “we have also started rolling out a packaged snack cake [packaged bakery] program this month,” Long said. “And we have plans to launch additional programs across several snack categories at the beginning of the year. With the new items recently launched, we now have over 100 center store items in our portfolio, and we plan to have over 150 items later this year—more than double our previous SKU count.”
In the past, the chain has offered other private-label items, “but quite frankly, we didn’t put any energy behind them,” said Tom Brennan, chief merchandising officer, Casey’s “We didn’t have any dedicated resources to develop and grow the brand, and it showed in our dated packaging and underdeveloped assortment.”
Beginning this year, the chain made private-branded products a core part of its strategic plan and in March hired Long as director of private brands. “He has done yeoman’s work in the subsequent months, and our guests are beginning to see the results in our stores,” Brennan said. “We are expanding the refreshed assortment in concert with our recently announced logo update.”
“We started with a core group of categories that we have had for years and are building on our foundation,” said Long. “Our guests have been used to high-quality Casey’s products coming from our strong foodservice operation, including our made-from-scratch pizza and other fresh-food offerings, and we will continue to dig deeper to identify more categories where we can bring our guests additional value and great quality.”