Wake up daily to our latest coverage of business done better, directly in your inbox.


Get your weekly dose of analysis on rising corporate activism.

Select Newsletter

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy. You can opt out anytime.

leonkaye headshot

Target to Double “Made to Matter” Organic and Sustainable Product Brands

Words by Leon Kaye

The past year has been a roller coaster for Target, with fallout over the infamous data breach, the closing of its stores in Canada and growing pressure to raise wages in the wake of Walmart’s recent announcement. But the company’s sales and its stock have rebounded, and compared to other retailers, employees have been relatively satisfied with the company’s work culture. And its customers may become more intrigued by Target’s increase in its “Made to Matter” product line, which includes a variety of brands that are made with organic and sustainable ingredients.

Made to Matter launched last year, with the roll out of iconic brands including Burt’s Bees, Annie’s Homegrown, Clif Bar, EVOL, method and its own private label product line. Last Friday, Target announced it would almost double the number of brands from 16 to 31, and the company expects sales from these labels to reach US$1 billion in 2015.

The new brands to be showcased in Target’s 1,900 stores include Mrs. Meyer’s, Kind, Paddy’s Bathroom and Pacifica. According to the company, more products are in the pipeline, including juice cleanses, water filters, baby food and vitamins—the latter of which is a solid idea considering some hot water the company recently landed because of some dubious supplements that landed on store shelves.

So far Made to Matter has been a success for Target. If all of these products were bundled under one label, it would be a top ten brand in terms of sales, as one of its executives explained to the Associated Press. This move is also part of Target’s shift away from the sales strategy it launched in the wake of the 2008-2009 financial crises. The company had rolled out more low-price grocery products in a bid to boost sales and keep competitive with Walmart.

That plan was somewhat successful, as many shoppers would fill their shopping baskets with products they would have otherwise purchased at other retailers. But it also dented the company’s reputation as the red-and-white palace of “cheap chic” where customers would flock for clothes, home furnishings and beauty products. And with the increased interest in consumer goods that are genuinely organic and sustainable, Target has an opportunity to capitalize the way companies including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Wegmans and Bristol Farms have in recent years.

Love them or hate them, not everyone has an Ikea near them to furnish the house; the same goes for a Whole Foods when it comes to food, cleaning products and toiletries. In the long run, the success Target has with these products could become a boost for its Made to Matter suppliers, who struggle finding shelf space for their products.

Based in California, Leon Kaye is a business writer and strategic communications specialist. He has also been featured in The Guardian, Clean Technica, Sustainable Brands, Earth911, Inhabitat, Architect Magazine and Wired.com. When he has time, he shares his thoughts on his own site, GreenGoPost.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Image credit: Wt90401

Leon Kaye headshotLeon Kaye

Leon Kaye has written for 3p since 2010 and become executive editor in 2018. His previous work includes writing for the Guardian as well as other online and print publications. In addition, he's worked in sales executive roles within technology and financial research companies, as well as for a public relations firm, for which he consulted with one of the globe’s leading sustainability initiatives. Currently living in Central California, he’s traveled to 70-plus countries and has lived and worked in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

Leon’s an alum of Fresno State, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Southern California's Marshall Business School. He enjoys traveling abroad as well as exploring California’s Central Coast and the Sierra Nevadas.

Read more stories by Leon Kaye

More stories from Leadership & Transparency