Walmart's Jet.com is going after millennials shoppers with the launch of its own grocery brand called Uniquely J, which is expected to arrive in a couple of months. The goal with the brand - beyond an obvious desire for increased margins - is to attract a younger shopper. Jet believes that Uniquely J will do so not only by nature of a product selection that includes everyday essentials, but also because of product quality and design.
Asked what exactly about Uniquely J makes it "millennial," a Jet.com spokesperson explained it's the "edgy, bold design" (which you can see in the images here), as well as the copy and the "high-quality" ingredients.
Well, the design is definitely different.
For example, the bag of coffee pictured here (see above) is called "badass espresso" and looks like it's covered in a big tattoo.
A box of plastic Ziplock-like bags is covered in drawings and and internet slang, like "Nom Nom."
If you thought that might be a box of tissues, I wouldn't have blamed you.
The products also feature Jet.com's "J" logo brand in a small box next to the product name. And thank goodness for that, because it's difficult to tell what these oddly-designed packages even contain.
Today's product labeling may be for boring, old people (like me), but at least you can tell at a glance what you're buying.
Then again, perhaps that matters less in the online world where you're not scanning store shelves to find an item, but are rather punching in keywords and clicking "add to cart" on whatever is cheapest.
Uniquely J will also seemingly target the values that millennials care about, like product sourcing. For example, the coffee is labeled "organic" and "fair trade."
Jet.com isn't providing much in the way of information on the new brand for now, beyond saying it will cover essentials, like coffee, olive oil, laundry detergent, paper towels and more. It won't say how many SKUs will be involved at launch, or the total number of categories represented.
But the nature of the product selection means Jet is essentially aiming to compete against other retailers' "essentials" delivery services - that is, their flat-rate "fill a box" options like the new next-day service Target Restock or Amazon Prime Pantry, for instance.
The company declined to say how Uniquely J products would ship, who it's partnering with on manufacturing, or what percentage savings they may offer over brand-name items.
However, an earlier report from New York Post citing sources ahead of Jet's announcement said the brand would launch in roughly 60 days across "dozens" of food and household categories. The sources also said that the Uniquely J products would arrive on Walmart.com in their second year.
“Uniquely J is yet another way Jet.com is innovating for the metro millennial," Meredith Klein, Director of Public Relations at Jet.com, told TechCrunch. "From the boldly designed packaging, to the fun, witty label copy and quality ingredients –everything was designed with this metro consumer in mind," she said.
Jet's parent company Walmart, of course, already has a slew of its own in-house brands, as do all major retailers today. It sells some of Walmart's private labels on Jet.com, like Great Value, Equate, Sam's Choice, and others. But those brands may not have the same pull with the younger shopper Jet aims to attract, hence the arrival of Uniquely J.
The move also comes at a time when the online grocery business is heating up.
Beyond delivery services like Instacart and Shipt, both Walmart and Amazon are offering grocery pickup and delivery options for their customers in select markets. And with Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, Walmart (and Jet's) biggest rival has acquired not only a brick-and-mortar retail presence, but also a host of private labels millennials trust as well.