Private label: A boon for retailers in India

The website reports on the 2012 Food and Grocery Forum India being held at Mumbai and an interesting session on Private Brands, where Ankur Bhasin Associate Director-Retail at Technopak asked the key questions: “How do consumers perceive Private Labels? Is a Private Label price-related? Why have some categories survived and some have vanished in Private Labels? How do different store formats impact Private Label s?”

He said one of the major trends being witnessed in Private Label s is their proliferation across the country with retailers. Rural consumption would in the coming years become at par with what is being currently seen in tier 1 and 2 cities. There would also be an emergence of distinct categories such as need-based categories and aspirational ones like gourmet foods. The former would include low involvement and offer high opportunities for retailers for their Private Label s.

According to the Technopak’s Private Label Report 2012, food and grocery segment is a key driver for Private Label s accounting for 20-25 percent, and sometimes even 40 percent, of all categories in Private Label s. The responsibility of retailers to Private Labels has increased significantly over the last few years.

Devendra Chawla, President, Food & FMCG, Future Group said that the Group has a different approach to Private Labels. “There is a huge opportunity for Indian retailers to build scale with Private Labels. We are a very unbranded country. Categories are yet to start in India. Our brands are independent brands such as Tasty Treat, and Clean Mate, which have survived on their own steam. “

Sumit Chandna, VP-Buying and Merchandising (FMCG) with Aditya Birla Retail, said: “We have a classical retailer approach. We build on our brand equity, and we do it across all categories. What is important is not the size of the store, but maintaining consistency of supply, though it cannot be denied that a large-store format will have the space to showcase more categories including private labels.”

Vaibhav Tembulkar, Trading Head, FMCG (Non-Food) with Hypercity, said: “As consumers welcome more and more Private Labels, retailers too want to launch such brands. But we have to give value for money, that is, we have to get quality as well as the price equation right.”

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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.