BOISE, ID –Albertsons is expanding its exclusive Open Nature brand into non-food categories and expects to release more than 240 new products this year.

Asannounced in a press release, this launch follows the grocer’s recent releases of Open Nature goods in both baby and pet food categories.

Geoff White, president of Own Brands (which includes O Organics, Lucerne, Open Nature and Signature products) for Albertsons, says the move is a likely one given consumers’ growing desire for and confidence in natural products.

“We know that our customers want high-quality, clean, and more natural products at affordable prices,” said White. “Whether it’s for their spouse, child, or pet, we know how important it is to feel good about the food they feed their family and the products that come into their homes. We’re more committed than ever to offering customers that experience, which is why we are excited to introduce a wider variety of Open Nature products and expand the brand’s free-from approach into non-food categories.”

Open Nature launched in 2011 with approximately 100 products.  They are free from 110 ingredients that many consumers of natural products want to avoid, such as antibiotics, MSG-type ingredients, nitrates, and preservatives like sulfites and benzoates. Open Nature meats are free from preservatives and added hormones.

In January, during a third quarter conference callreportedby WholeFoods Magazine, Robert Miller, Albertsons chairman and CEO, announced that 12-month sales of its O Organics private label line exceeded $1 billion for the first time.  Overall, private label penetration increased by 62 basis points in the third quarter.

Miller also cited the company’spartnership with Instacartas contributing to positive traffic in the first few weeks of the fourth quarter, leading the company to be optimistic about its prospects for the year ahead.

In February, the grocerannouncedit was expanding its retail pharmacy divisions by purchasing more than 2,500 Rite Aid stores.