Cooking with Private Brand

So the one thing you will learn about me is that I love to cook and pretty much everything about food and cooking. My TV is on Food Network by default and my kids can name all the Iron Chefs. They love Alton Brown on Good Eats and my two year old loves to hit the speed dial on my phone for Mario Batalli’s restaurant in New York, Babbo. So my interest in private brand often manifests itself in food or food related products.

Which leads me to Kohl’s; with more than 800 stores they have developed a very aggressive private brand strategy that is heavily advertised and most certainly very expensive. Kohl’s has a long roster of exclusive licensed private brands that includes rock stars and most relevant to this conversation, the Food Network. It features booth Food Network branded product and products from Bobby Flay, Paula Dean and Rachel Ray.
This is intriguing to me as a food lover and fan of the network; the products aren’t bad, although they seem a little expensive. So the question I ask is, “Is the license worth the fee?” Is Kohl’s getting a return on this investment and is the brand making Kohl’s a brand of choice for the Food Network fan or simply the cooking enthusiast? For me, it’s not bad stuff but I still covet a full set of AllClad.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.