A Look Inside: Target’s Journey Toward Better-For-You Living

At Target, customers (or guests) are at the heart of everything the company does. And now, more than ever before, access to better-for-you products is one of their main priorities. Healthy and sustainable living is a very personal journey, and guests want to take the best care of themselves and their families. They have a strong desire to make better choices and are concerned about what they put in, on, and around their body. They look to trusted brands like Target to provide options that will help them get there.

However, there are some things that can stand in their way—like a lack of access to better-for-you products, an inability to afford them, or a clear understanding of what they are. And that’s not OK. In Target's eyes, wellness and sustainability should really be accessible to all.

At Target, wellness and sustainability as two sides of the same coin—together, they have the potential to impact the broader well-being of the planet and people in a holistic way. To make sure it's doing its part, Target is committed to providing a greater level of transparency and traceability for guests, assuring products are sourced and made in the most ethical and responsible way possible.

From organic foods to beauty and personal care products made without unwanted chemicals, Target looks for ways to give guests the product options they want—and frankly expect—from them. They have come a long way, but there’s still a lot of work do.

Target is making progress on offering up more sustainable product options too. One big example: Sustainable seafood became high-priority at Target as they became aware of the broader depletion of seafood species around the world, the challenge between supply and demand, and the impacts of commercial fishing on the ecosystem. Since 2011, they have worked to ensure fresh and frozen seafood selection is sustainable and traceable. In fact, Target worked extensively with its partner FishWise to develop a comprehensive sustainable seafood program with stringent guidelines that the owned brand and national brand fresh or frozen seafood product must meet. What was born from these efforts was Target’s sustainable seafood guidelines, which are used in tandem with social compliance policies that help ensure products are produced ethically.

Today, Target is proud to have achieved its goal—100 percent—for owned-brand seafood products; when it comes to national brand products, 91 percent of them are sustainable, and they have worked hard to achieve full compliance across remaining products. But, in the meantime, thy have helped take the guesswork out from guests—who know they can easily find a wide range of sustainably sourced, affordable seafood in stores.

Sustainable seafood is only one piece of the puzzle. Target has also continued to curate new, ‘better-for-you’ products, providing more choices for guests, so they don’t have to make tradeoffs.

Beginning in 2013, Target unveiled Simply Balanced, a food collection that takes the guesswork out of eating well. It’s a Target owned brand that’s free of artificial flavors, synthetic colors, or artificial preservatives. In 2014, Target worked with other brands to make natural, organic, and sustainable products more accessible and attainable through Target’s Made to Matter program. The guest response was overwhelmingly positive, resulting in $1 billion in sales during 2015—demonstrating that what’s better for you and the planet can also be better for business.

Target's work goes far beyond food products. In 2013, the Target Sustainable Product Index (SPI) was introduced, developed in partnership with industry experts, vendors, and NGOs, to encourage ingredient transparency and a common language, definition and process for what makes a better, more sustainable product. They’ve focused first and foremost on human health and transparency. They since reduced usage barriers for vendors to participate and expanded the product categories to include cosmetics this year.

Target also is proud to lead the conversation around safer, more sustainable beauty and personal care products. In 2014, the company co-hosted a summit,during which key industry players discussed ingredient transparency and product sustainability within the beauty and personal care industries. Work continues today as they look to help guests make the best choices for themselves and Target knows that to truly make an impact, they can’t do this alone. It will take significant systemic change, but they are making tangible progress.

Living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle should not be reserved for a select one percent of the population, but accessible to people everywhere. It will take some time and require hard work, but each day, they’ll take steps toward securing a more healthy and sustainable future for guests. Each day they inspire and educate on better choices, and empowering others to make strides on their journey.

—Jennifer Silberman, Target VP of Sustainability & Wellness

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