Cooking with Trader Joe's

Birkdale Village

Traer Joe's Private Label CookbookNot far from my home there is an outdoor mall and community based on New Urbanist designs and theories, Birkdale Village. For those of you unfamiliar with New Urbanism it’s theories create modern mixed use, walk able downtowns, with sidewalks and parks surrounded by tree line streets, and intimate houses with front porches that invite neighborly interaction. Basically the Norman Rockwell downtown anchored by retail.  Several days ago I wandered into the Barnes & Noble in Birkdale Village, mostly browsing, but I have several sections I go to first. Cookbooks are usually first and in this case last, I found a Trader Joe’s inspired cookbook “Cooking with Trader Joe’s“. I love cookbooks so I snapped it up and headed home wishing the Charlotte Trader Joe’s was closer to my home, instead of 20 miles away.

There are many skeptics that doubt the power of retail brands to inspire and engage. In this case I spent money to engage with Trader Joe’s and it’s private label products on a deeper level. Private Brand and a compelling retail brand can and should be the point of differentiation.

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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.