Fifty2, The MPB Project: Harris Teeter – HT Trader’s

HT TRADERS FRONT“Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project,” will present a carefully curated look at the best Private Brands in the U.S. across all retail channels. The weekly series looks at each great Private Brand with insight, analysis and original photography. In early 2014, these will be published as my first book along with several new chapters that focus on strategy, packaging and design learnings from the included brands.

Fifty2 The MPB Project LogoI am looking for retailer-owned private labels that are BRANDS – brands that bring their positioning and business purpose to life through great design, purpose, expertise, confidence, emotion, lifestyle and innovation.

To submit a brand for consideration please email

In 2000, Charlotte, North Carolina based grocer Harris Teeter launched their premium tier Private Brand, HT Traders, with 62 items from Italy and Greece. At the time, the brand’s tagline was “searching near and far” and focused on introducing the Harris Teeter customer to European and regional specialty products. Twelve years later, the brand has grown to hundreds of products and been repositioned to emphasize “fun, exciting, adventurous, and delicious.” With the new positioning came a new logo, package design and corresponding fun and exciting brand voice, as well as the tagline, “Inspire. Discover. Enjoy.”

The new branding emphasizes the fun and unique aspect of the product rather than its origin with packaging that reflects that. The rigid design system that was anchored by a dated globe-based logo has been replaced by a playful typeface that plays well with the “apple, fish and bread” art that is borrowed from the Harris Teeter logo. Every aspect of the brand reinforces it playful uniqueness including its product names (“Sir Chocolot” Dark Chocolate Topped Truffle Cookies, “Prairie Harvest Crunch” Multi-Grain Crisps) and category specific design. An ironic twist on the clichéd Private Brand “compare to” statement is found on the HT Traders Monumental Salted XL Virginia Peanuts and includes the phrase “*compare to the Pyramids” with a picture of the monument and a “Monumental” peanut Photoshopped in for comparison.

As the perfect example of confidence in brand, the distribution clause proclaims” Proudly Distributed by Harris Teeter.”

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Brand Focus: Specialty Premium Foods
Harris Teeter
Charlotte, NC
2012 USA Retail Sales:
2011 Stores:

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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.