Innovation: the Next Challenge for Private Brands.

Culinary Circle frozenArlington, Va.; Aug. 13, 2009: Despite — or perhaps because of — today’s economy, private label brands are experiencing tremendous success. To enhance this growth, Andrew Abraham, vice president, Our Own Brands for SUPERVALU, will challenge packaging suppliers, contract packagers and designers to bring innovative technologies and concepts to the burgeoning private label sector in a keynote address at PACK EXPO (October 5-7; Las Vegas Convention Center). Abraham will deliver his address on Tuesday, October 6.

In his presentation, “Packaging – A Holistic Approach to Winning,” Abraham will explore four key areas of opportunity where the private brand industry and the packaging supply chain can unite for success: Packaging for Retail Efficiency, Packaging for Communication Effectiveness, Packaging for Brand Positioning and Differentiation and Mainstreaming Sustainability.

Abraham was recently named vice president, Our Own Brands, for SUPERVALU, stepping into the opening created when Mike Witynski was promoted to president of SUPERVALU’s Shaw’s division. In his previous role as vice president of Brand Management & Strategy, Our Own Brands, Abraham developed brand strategies and product launches for SUPERVALU’s private label business. Prior to moving to SUPERVALU in 2008, Abraham played a variety of roles at Proctor and Gamble, Radio Shack, Roundy’s and Playtex. He replaces Witynski on the Conference at PACK EXPO schedule.

The discussion will focus on the need for greater strategic alliances between private brand suppliers and manufacturers to provide joint solutions that bring value to retailers through labor savings and a “One Touch approach.” These stronger relationships will also result in packaging that helps boost a retailer’s brand image on the shelf and enhance the consumer shopping experience.

Abraham will also highlight how today’s private brands are focusing on strategic design to project brand personality, effectively communicate value, and compete with quality perceptions of national brands. The interest private brands have in realizing sustainability opportunities – particularly when they can be linked to innovation and first-to-market initiatives – will also be explored.

“A recent study from The NPD Group indicates that in 2008, 24 percent of all food and beverages served in American homes were store brands, up from 18 percent in 1999. Today, 97 percent of all households consume private label foods on a regular basis,” says Charles D. Yuska, president and CEO of PMMI, sponsor and producer of PACK EXPO. “While the recession has played a role in the growth of this sector, consumers are choosing private label brands due to overall value and quality. To continue to spur consumer interest, industry leaders like SUPERVALU are turning to their packaging supply chain partners to introduce products that build brand loyalty with high impact package designs, unique in-store branding opportunities and strong sustainability platforms.”

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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.