Hy-Vee Shines a Spotlight on Private Brand With Its Brand Sale

As many of you know I have recently relocated to Omaha, Nebraska, which means my local grocery stores, are have dramatically changed. I moved from Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Lowe’s Foods and Fresh Market to Hy-Vee and Kroger owned Bakers. The smaller southern formats seem cozy compared to these huge supermarkets with full restaurants, kitchen boutiques, medical clinics and liquor stores. I don’t know that they are better or worse operators but it is certainly different.

This post centers on the recent Private Brand promotion from Hy-Vee, the employee-owned chain operates more than 230 supermarkets in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin and not far from my home in Omaha. The Hy-Vee Brand sale made Private Brand the star of the shoe complete with in store signage and a flyer featuring Private Brand on the cover and more than 90 Private Brand products. Despite the great in store promotion and flyer presence the campaign falls back to the now predictable premise “Compare & Save” notice the sell line for the promotion on the overhead banner, “If you can’t tell the difference, why pay the difference.”

We are as good as the other guy, but cheaper is not a brand promise, it is certainly not a reason to believe, what does this brand stand for and why should customers care?

Actually my favorite part of this promotion is cover of the weekly flyer which includes a timeline of Hy-Vee Private Brand canned green bean packaging, the 1950’s version has a great retro feel, while the 1990’s version has the we’re better than generic – really design that you would expect and the modern version demonstrates a warmer more designed aesthetic.



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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.