A Closer Look at Loblaws Presidents Choice Black Label

Ian Gordon, vice-president of Loblaw Brands, for the iconic retailer says the new black-label Private Brand aims to fill a gap in the Loblaws offerings, adding the third tier to what many Private Brand producers refer to as a ‘good, better, best’ portfolio of goods. There’s No Name, President’s Choice, of which Blue Menu is the healthier option, and now black label. “There is a 15% to 20% range at the top in the fine-foods area that we do not have an offering in for the consumer,” says Gordon. “It’s a niche we haven’t tried to talk to before now.”

“The global supermarket industry is worth billions upon billions, but it’s still a small world. Ideas are constantly being traded and tested across international borders. Before launching President’s Choice in 1984, then-president Nichol took inspiration from all around the world, including a plucky upstart in the American West called Trader Joe’s. As Nichol told Businessweek in 1995, “I stole the name and concept of Trader Joe’s Insider’s Report for President’s Choice. (Loblaws ended up buying the name from Trader Joe’s two years later.) It is safe to say that President’s Choice owes the majority of its success to Trader Joe’s.”

Similarly, the new black-label products’ distinct package design takes obvious cues (same color-coded font on black background) from a 2003 Private Brand design for fellow Weston-owned supermarket, Britain’s upscale Selfridges. ”

Not to mention black & white photos that seem to reference the bold, realism of A&P’s Via Roma.



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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.