Cassandra Curtis had an unexpected
visitor stop by her Once Upon a Farm
baby food company booth at the Natural
Products Expo West convention in Anaheim,
Calif. this past March. It was the baby food
buyer for Target.
“It was just a simple conversation and he definitely wanted to bring it
in,” says Curtis, co-founder and COO of San Diego-based Once Upon a
Farm. “He approached us in March and we were on the shelves in May.”
Once Upon a Farm manufactures a unique 10-SKU line of vegetarian
and vegan baby foods made with healthy fats, including avocado, coconut milk, coconut oil, flaxseed and hemp seed. The company uses HPP
(high pressure pasteurization) instead of traditional heat pasteurization,
allowing it to offer a baby food with higher nutrition content and fresher
flavors than traditional shelf-stable jarred baby foods, Curtis says.
Since it is minimally processed, Once Upon a Farm has to be kept
refrigerated. The brand has also been picked up by Whole Foods,
Wegmans, Costco’s San Diego division and some natural independents,
all of which merchandise it in the dairy case.
Target, however, which is testing Once Upon a Farm in 65 stores in
greater Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Houston, did something different.
“Target’s refrigerators are in the baby aisle, which is pretty revolution-
ary, considering that up until now, most—if not all—baby food sections
did not have refrigerators,” Curtis says. “These are big refrigerators and
they really stand out in the aisle. They have a number of other refriger-
ated baby food items in them as well, such as baby juices and yogurts.”
Initial results look very promising, Curtis says.
“We are doing really well in there since we launched,” Curtis says.
“Target is a great partner to work with, and I think it is going to con-
tinue to do well. Moms love Target, so it is a good place for us to be.”
Selling refrigerated baby food in the baby care aisle is just one of
the revolutionary things Target is doing to revitalize its $18.5 billion
AIMING TO BE
TARGET IS DOUBLING DOWN ITS GROCERY EFFORTS BY REMODELING STORES,
STRESSING PERISHABLES AND LISTENING TO ITS “GUESTS.” BY RICHARD TURCSIK