When Amazon bought Whole Foods earlier this summer, it threw a lot of people for a loop—and probably made more than a few supermarket companies a little uneasy. Now, with the (very good!) news that Amazon is trying to make Whole Foods more affordable by slashing prices, those aforementioned supermarket companies have more to compete with.
The first rebuttal? Walmart-owned jet.com, which is now launching a higher end brand of groceries and household essentials. Over the next two months, the e-retailer will begin selling around 60 food and household products (with baby, beauty, and pet products expected at a later date) under the name “Uniquely J.”
Starting with essentials like coffee, olive oil, and paper towels, Uniquely J will be jet.com’s inaugural attempt at slightly more upscale brands. It’s reported to start selling brands like Bonobos and Modcloth soon, which Walmart also bought in 2017.
Launching an in-house premium brand is almost the reverse strategy of Whole Foods, whose “365” brand offers consumers comparatively cheaper items. However, according to Fortune, Uniquely J differs in that it caters specifically to the needs of young urban adults (i.e. “metro millennials”), a demographic that Walmart struggles with.
This focus on millennials becomes increasingly evident upon examination of the actual products. A bold graphic design on the otherwise ambiguous packaging—presumably designed to attract a younger demographic—includes explicit information about where the product is from, and features colorful names like “badass espresso.”
“Uniquely J is yet another way jet.com is innovating for the metro millennial. From the boldly designed packaging to the fun, witty label copy and quality ingredients—everything was designed with this metro consumer in mind,” Meredith Klein, jet.com’s director of public relations, told TechCrunch.
Whether or not this will prove effective in the long run remains to be seen—especially as Whole Foods, another brand beloved by urban millennials, is reducing its prices. But it is an interesting marketing strategy. Because why would you buy regular espresso when badass espresso sounds so much more intriguing?