AWG Adds Nutrition Keys to Private Brands

Grocery shoppers in 24 states where Best Choice and Always Save Private Brand products are sold will soon discover a more convenient way to learn nutritional facts food products. Associated Wholesale Grocers, distributor of the two Private Brands, is embracing the voluntary move in conjunction with the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, to modify food product labeling as a way to join first lady Michelle Obama’s fight against childhood obesity. Nutritional information will soon be found on the front of the package and easily spotted.

“Even though the label modification is strictly voluntary, we believe it is an important and essential step in helping consumers make healthy choices when making food purchases,” said Jerry Garland, Associated Wholesale Grocers President and C.E.O. “This service will help our members who sell Best Choice and Always Save also demonstrate a commitment to their loyal customers that they too care about healthy lifestyles.”

The front-of-pack labeling will include nutrition keys that summarize important information from the nutritional facts typically found on the back or side panel of the food product. The new, easy-to-read keys will include four icons with information on calories, saturated fat, sodium and sugars. Depending on the product and available space, it may include just the calorie icon.

“We are working with our design teams and well on our way to modifying the labels on the 3,000-some food products that we distribute,” added Garland. “Certainly this doesn’t happen overnight, but we expect to start rolling out the first of the front-of-pack labels in the next 160 days and then continue on for the next 12 months.”

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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.