70-year-old Private Brand Fruitcake To Be Auctioned

Occasionally a strange or even weird story comes across my desk that is inextricably connected to Private Brand. One such story comes from a Cincinnati man who is to auction off a 70-year-old fruitcake. The Kroger Private Brand fruitcake was purchased in 1941 by E.F. Helbing. It was one of six he bought at the time.

Mr. Helbing kept it for 30 years, then decided to send it back to the Kroger store he bought it from, thinking they might want it. He included a note chronicling it’s travels over the years. The store didn’t want it, but store manager Frank Bates couldn’t throw it out. He kept it.

Now at age 86, Frank’s son found it while helping his dad clean out his house. They decided to put it up for auction with the proceeds going to charity.

Now that is brand loyalty!

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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.