Private Brand Growth Today.

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In this interesting article from the New Jersey daily the Asbury Park Press, David Willis puts together a nice overview of current events in Private Brand including: A&P’s announcement to expand penetration, Walmart’s Great Value relaunch, recent PLMA research on cost savings when buying Private Brand, ShopRite’s increase in Private Brand sales and the increase in Private Brand organic sales.

Prime time for store brands
Grocers are placing an emphasis on their private label products as consumers look to save money on their trips to the supermarket.
By David P. Willis • BUSINESS WRITER • April 12, 2009

With the economy in a deep recession, grocers are turning to store brands to attract consumers who are looking to save money at the supermarket.

Take shoppers like Lorraine Mazzeo of Brick. She has switched to store brands for staples such as rice and pasta, and other supplies, such as diapers, to cut her expenses at the cash register.

She’s lured not only by price, but quality.

“You are really trying to get things that your family wants and likes,” Mazzeo said. “You look at something that might be $1.50 for a store brand and over $4 for the name brand. It doesn’t make sense to spend that extra money for the name brand when the quality of that item is the same.”

Supermarkets are responding to customers like Mazzeo by boosting their offerings.

For instance, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. announced late last month it is expanding its America’s Choice brand with 10 new private labels, including Green Way, a line of more than 200 organic products; Hartford Reserve, a specialty line; and Via Roma, which includes Italian pastries. The new lines are being unveiled at the company’s A&P, Pathmark, and SuperFresh stores, among others.

“Due to the economy, consumers looking for that value proposition and the great quality are more apt to try private label brands, and as they’re trying them, they’re understanding the benefits and the quality that the products have to offer,” said Christine Oliveri, the company’s senior director of Own Brands, the name of the company’s line of private labels.

Wal-Mart Stores has made changes to its Great Value brand, tweaking the formula for some items, such as breakfast cereal, yogurt and cookies, and changing the packaging, following consumer tests, spokesman Steven Restivo said.

“The current economic conditions are playing a big role in customers’ decisions whether to purchase national or store brands,” he said.

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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.