Convenience Store/Petroleum magazine recently hosted its CSP’s 2009 Consumer Insights Forum in Phoenix. The conference featured a series of presentations including one from Al Meyers, senior vice president of business development for Retail Forward, Columbus, Ohio. Addressing the group of about 75 retailers and suppliers, he said that consumers post-recession will still be making “mindful” choices, opting to remain frugal in ways they find meaningful.
In his concluding statements, Meyers focused on the boom of private brands, which mega-retailers, such as Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart, and c-store giant 7-Eleven, Dallas, have embraced. He said companies are wisely choosing not to focus on private “label,” which had the stigma of being a second-rate product, but private “brand.” He said companies are investing in store brands, improving taste profiles and giving personality to their brand identities.
“It’s not just a label slapped onto a product with cheap ingredients,” Meyers said. “It’s a brand.”