Private Brand Restaurants Taste Great.

This past week the AP featured the article “Bistro in Aisle 9: Supermarkets mimic restaurants” taking a look at the trend to grocers operating restaurants. The article features Wegman’s,  Whole Foods and Kroger and is complimentary of the trend. Although Private Brands are not mentioned this is a smart evolution of the grocery business model to engage customers more often and to extend their brands. This is a brilliant evolution of retailer owned Private Brand.

Bistro in Aisle 9: Supermarkets mimic restaurants

Just beyond the canned goods and produce aisles where he usually grabs his groceries, Jack Curtin recently grabbed a pub lunch.

He started with the chicken breast sandwich special and a nice Belgian ale. His ex-wife had the crusted Atlantic salmon fillet. And they did it without ever leaving the store.

They were in “The Pub at Wegmans” in Collegeville, Pa. And the pub was in a Wegmans supermarket.

And it was all pretty good.

“Let’s put it this way,” says Curtin, who writes professionally about beer, “if I were shopping and a felt like having a beer, I would have no compunction about walking over there, sitting at the bar and having a beer.”

And he can largely because the hugely popular grocery store salad bars of the ’80s and ’90s have given way to a more sophisticated approach to prepared foods. Shoppers now can dine in on sushi and chardonnay, or grab crusted salmon and grilled chorizo to go.

The grocer-as-quick-serve-restaurant model has done well in the recession, in part because the convenience is good and cost is low.

But even as the economy upticks slightly, ready-to-eat food continues to drive more traffic to grocery stores, increasingly blurring the traditional boundaries between supermarkets and restaurants.

Read the entire article.



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Christopher Durham

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.