By Sharon Tay

PASADENA ( — Target is a one-stop shop for consumers on a budget.

Mom-to-be Mallory Scribner loads up on Target brand food to save money.

“It has everything you need. It’s all in one place. I can go get my mascara, my eyeliner, my milk and my eggs,” Scribner said.

The Pasadena resident said a shopping trip to her neighborhood Target, one of 200 locations in Southern California, means double duty – Scribner sees it as an opportunity to pick up household goods and food.

“They have great flavors. For instance, the chips they have the most neat flavors and you get them home and they taste great,” Scribner said.

“I always buy the frozen vegetables, the Archer Farms. And they have really neat mixes and flavors.”

Some say Target brand foods can be quick and tasty but the process of developing the products isn’t that simple. It takes time and talent to create a recipe for success.

The food testing starts in Target’s test kitchen, located in Minneapolis. A team of professionals develop the 3,000 products the giant retailer makes and sells.

“I know what it’s like to feed your family well, have them leave the table with good food for them,” said Paula Zuhlsdorf, a product performance scientist at the Target test kitchen.

Zuhlsdorf, a mother herself, develops product-directions for Archer Farms pizza. She retests pizza quality, even though it’s been several months since Target started selling specialty pizza.

“I will make sure the oven temperature and the bake time is going to give a product that will have the nice crust we’re looking for… that the topping is not over-baking,” Zuhlsdorf said.

Pizza is a good example of how products are developed for Target’s main brands, Archer Farms and Market Pantry.

Each flavor of Target pizza is prepared and evaluated more than a dozen times before hitting store shelves.

Each year, employees test all Target food products. They taste them and cook with them.

The team tests food in 20 microwaves and 16 ovens of all makes, models, and Watts.

From popular household staples — like bread, milk, and eggs — to freeze-dried fruits to beverages, the team is constantly testing products. Target launches 800 new products annually.

Market Pantry is Target’s value brand and the company says these products are 10 to 30 percent cheaper than popular national brands.

“It makes sense: the values there, the qualities…there’s no reason not to,” Scribner said.

And, for satisfied customers like Scribner, that’s a definite incentive to buy.

“I’m definitely going to be looking to save money being a first time parent and everything, so I’m going to probably do more of that kind of shopping.”


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