Fifty2, The MPB Project: A&P – Via Roma

A&P Via ROma 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

Via Roma
In December 2008, A&P, one of the US’s first supermarket chains debuted its groundbreaking Private Brand, Via Roma. The line debuted on filled-to-order cannoli in the bakery department, as well as a unique do-it-yourself cannoli kit, followed by the introduction of authentic sauces, pasta, olive oil, cheeses and pizza. It has grown to include more than 150 pastas, sauces, cheeses and other authentic Italian style products.

The Italian foods brand brought to life the essence of the people of Tuscany – all different and all unique. The brand’s uniquely authentic Italian voice abandons the clichéd expression of Italian –red, white and green – in favor of emotive photography that shows the subject’s true character, expression and emotion.

Each package carries a modern and emotive original black and white photograph commissioned by the grocer and portraying real and engaging older generation Italians, all taken in a small village in the Tuscany region of Italy. Combined with a contemporary and clean layout, typography and brand crest, the brand embodies its tagline “Food with Personality.”

In 2010, the brand was awarded more than a dozen design and branding awards from all around the world: 2010 REBRAND 100 Winners, The Communicator Awards, and Private Label Magazine’s Store Brand Leadership Awards, as well as being featured on the influential sites The Dieline and Lovely Package.

The brand is now carried by A&P through its banners: A&P, SuperFresh, Food Basics, Waldbaum’s, The Food Emporium and Pathmark and continues to grow and prove the potential of Private Brands to authentically and emotionally engage.

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Brand Focus: Authentic Italian
Montvale, N.J.
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.