Real Moms put AWG Private Brands to the Test

Kansas City, Kansas based Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) is putting its Best Choice Private Brand products to the ultimate test. Scott Richey, Executive Director at AWG decided to go head-to-head with the national brand in a “Mom’s Choice” taste comparison. Four mothers from across the country are tasting, comparing, and deciding if Best Choice products really are, best. And every Friday these mothers will post their opinions—good or bad—on AWG’s Mommy Blog: The “compare and save” taste test is a tried and true Private Brand promotion, however this execution from AWG takes it to a new level, with the integration of social media and the willingness to hear and present “the good the bad and the ugly.”

The blog kicked off with a comparison between Best Choice and Del Monte mandarin oranges. Hillary, a mommy blogger from Kansas, was first to report her family’s findings: “The kids liked the taste of both brands of oranges. But the consensus was that the Best Choice brand was bigger, and therefore crowned the ‘winner.’ As for the adults in the house, my husband liked the looks of the Del Monte oranges, being smaller and a more vibrant color. As for me, the mom, grocery shopper, and financial manager of the household, I say the price difference of 60 cents is significant enough that the Best Choice mandarin oranges will be the oranges found in our pantry.”

Although bloggers are paid for their time and given Best Choice and National Brand products for comparisons, their findings are their honest opinions based on the products’ quality, value, and taste.

Peer reviews and recommendations have always been more trusted than typical advertising messages, explains Lindsey Hurr, of Fort Worth-based advertising and branding agency Immotion Studios. “In fact, recent research shows that 94% of consumers trust peer recomendations while just 12% trust traditional advertising. AWG wanted to develop this blog to educate consumers about the real quality and value of their private brand products.”

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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.