Wegmans’s Slides Into Private Brand With Mini Burgers

Rochester, New York based grocer Wegman’s, announced the introduction of 6 varieties of specialty burgers and sliders. The line will include: Mushroom-Swiss (made with gourmet mushrooms and Gruyere cheese), Bacon Cheddar, Blue Cheese, Vidalia Onion, Cracked Pepper and Plain.

Although Wegmans has sold irradiated ground beef under its own brand for several years and also has offered flavored, grill-ready burger patties, these specialty burgers and sliders enjoy an “extra margin of food safety” because they are made from 80 percent lean irradiated fresh ground beef, the retailer said.

“For years, we’ve told customers to cook ground beef to 160 degrees to eliminate the risk of harmful bacteria and to use an instant thermometer to be sure,” said Jim Locicero, category manager for beef and ground beef. “That advice still holds for non-irradiated ground beef. But we wanted to give our customer more latitude to cook burgers the way they like — so we switched this year to using irradiated ground beef for our specialty burgers. The result is an incredibly juicy burger!”

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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.