Private Brands Spice Up Life.

Private Labels continued rise in this difficult economy is reported daily on almost every news outlet, so this story from the Wall Street Journal is no surprise. It chronicles the challenges of national brands in commodity categories, with a focus on McCormick Spices.

Walmart Spices Up Private Label

A weaker opponent can put up a good fight in a tug of war, but once the rope slips, recovery becomes a long shot.

Such is the position of some brand-name food companies trying to hold their ground against generic competitors. Private-label sales were 13.4% of a basket of U.S. groceries in 1994, but likely reached a high of 17.5% in 2009, fueled by a tougher economy, says Robert Moskow of Credit Suisse.

The question is whether Americans stick with generics if the economy improves. In some consumer categories, like razors, quality differences are noticeable. A better shave may be worth paying for again when it becomes affordable.

Read the entire article.

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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.