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Target, Brands Gather to Celebrate Official Launch of #MadeToMatter Collection

The City View level of the Metreon in downtown San Francisco was abuzz on Thursday, as Target celebrated the official launch of Made to Matter, a curated collection of more than 120 new and exclusive products from 16 food and personal care brands already known for their commitment to making products the right way.

The crowd mingled with the brands and sampled the exclusive products at the zero-waste event, which included a station at which attendees packed up 350 boxes full of donated products from the featured brands, to be donated to needy families throughout the San Francisco area through Glide, a local nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty.

Image credit: Target (click to enlarge).

“Our guests love your brands,” Jose Barra, Target’s EVP of Merchandising, said to the brands in the crowd. “About 97 percent of Target guests have purchased organic or natural brands in the last 12 months. So hopefully this is the beginning of a great, great relationship because we want to take this to the next level.”

In keeping with Barra's comments, recent research indicates that more US consumers are prioritizing health and sustainability when it comes to product choices (especially when it comes to food, according to the 2014 Cone Communications Food Issues Trend Tracker): Target says this is reflected in the tremendous response to Made to Matter since the initial soft launch in late March, with significant sales growth for the Made to Matter brands.

As Paul Lindley, founder and CEO of Ella’s Kitchen, said in a video: “We've got a better world because of all these brands, and the idea that we're being brought together through this collaborative partnership is just pretty inspiring.”

In late 2012, Target convened executives from leading natural, organic and sustainable product manufacturers to discuss the future consumer, the state of the industry and the opportunities available to deliver an unprecedented experience in the wellness space. Ultimately, this led to the creation of Made to Matter, a partnership in which Target curates a growing collection of purpose-driven brands known for products consumers can feel good about sharing with their families.

Colorado-based natural frozen foods brand Evol Foods developed several new products for Made to Matter, including street tacos and breakfast sandwiches. Founder Phil Anson said the new items — inspired by the current popularity of food trucks and fusion cuisine — represent a slightly different direction for the brand in terms of flavors, but were otherwise business-as-usual as far as the company’s approach to its products. 

“From a sustainability standpoint, there’s really nothing different we do at Target than we do in our business,” Anson told me the event. “It’s part of the fabric of our brand DNA — from the way we buy office paper to the way we buy energy, to the way we run our factory to the way we ship and store product, to the way we figure out the kind of packaging materials we’re going to use — it’s just kind of embedded in the business.”

Target says stay tuned as more brands and products are added to the collection. In the meantime, the initial Made to Matter product set is now available at Target stores nationwide.

Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]

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