Supervalu Benefits From Private Brand


According to a Wall Street Journal article entitled “Supervalu’s Results Benefit From Private-Label Goods” published April 24, 2009, the grocer Supervalu posted better-than-expected profit before charges for the fiscal fourth quarter, helped by the sales boom in private-label goods. Supervalu owns Acme, Albertson’s, Bigg’s, Bristol Farm’s, Cub, Farm Fresh, Hornbachers, Jewl-Osco, Lucky, Save-A-Lot, Shaws, Star Market, Shop n’ Save, and Shopper’s they reported a net loss of $201 million, or 95 cents a share, for the quarter ended Feb. 28 after a goodwill-impairment charge, other one-time items and store closings.

According to the article; “I think almost everybody in the food business is growing in their [private label] brand percentage,” Supervalu chief Jeff Noddle said in an interview last month.

Supervalu has invested significant resources to improve the quality and positioning of their Private Brands. They have hired former CPG brand managers and food scientists to create and test product in its eight-kitchen Innovation Center. The company has nearly 150 employees working to create, evaluate or adjust over 1,000 Private Brand products.

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cookie_crsp_white_macadamiaThis was spearheaded the continued evolution of Syupervalu Private brands and the the fourth quarter 2008 launch of the Culinary Circle premium Private Brand. The brand is designed to allow consumers to enjoy restaurant-quality food right at home easily and affordably.

Culinary Circle initially featured more than 150 items in the deli, bakery, frozen and center store aisles. Offerings range from on-the-go meals, elegant hors d’oeuvres and gourmet spreads to high-end desserts and artisan breads. Culinary Circle products will be priced approximately 20 to 25 percent below casual restaurant food and about 10 to 15 percent lower than other premium national brands.

“The rising cost of gas and other household necessities makes it harder for many consumers to justify dining out as often as they’d like,” said Chad Terrell, Culinary Circle brand manager. “Our line-up of chef-inspired Culinary Circle products is designed to bring affordable, quality meals to the dining room, and help meet the needs of consumers who love to eat out and sample different kinds of foods or indulge in the kinds of meals they simply don’t have the time to make at home.

According to a Supervalu press release: “Culinary Circle exemplifies SUPERVALU’s continued focus on being a customer-centric organization,” said Duncan Mac Naughton, executive vice president, SUPERVALU merchandising and marketing. “Significant research and understanding of consumer insights went into the development of the brand, which has enabled us to appeal directly to consumers’ desire for premium products that help them recreate the casual restaurant experiences they’ve come to enjoy, at a fraction of the cost.”

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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.