Fifty2, The MPB Project: Fresh & Easy

Fresh & Easy 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 Fifty2 The MPB Project Logowith 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.

I 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

Fresh & Easy
Over the last five years, British mega retailer Tesco’s grand U.S. experiment, Fresh & Easy, has transformed from being the next great concept in American retail to a beleaguered chain for sale to the highest bidder. However, since its very inception, Private Brand has been a strategic emphasis at the almost 200 stores in California, Nevada and Arizona.

The retailer launched with more than 1,000 all-natural private brand products and within four years the sku count exceeded 3,000. Each private brand product was tasked with living up to the quality of the Fresh & Easy brand positioning and clearly bringing it to life at their customers’ dinner table. Consequently all Fresh & Easy private brand products adhere to comprehensive food safety standards and strict brand standards that prohibit strict artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives—as well as no high fructose corn syrup or trans fats in any of the products.

Despite some early missteps that brought an unfamiliar British aesthetic to the shelves, the in-store experience and private brand design have continued to evolve and embrace the American customer. Consequently, a new breed of U.S. Private Brand design has emerged that not only owes its roots to its Tesco parentage, but also embraces a bold, playful and vibrant American spirit. The brand has received more than two dozen awards for graphic design and innovation from some of the world’s most prestigious contests, including the Pentawards, the American Graphic Design & Advertising Awards, and the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards, as well as awards hosted by Graphic Design USA, PLBuyer, Brand Packaging Magazine, The Dieline and How Design Magazine.

No matter what happens to Fresh & Easy, their Private Brand is a bold experiment that has raised the bar for years to come.

Brand: Fresh & Easy
Brand Focus:
Fresh & Easy
El Segundo, CA
2011 Stores: 200

To submit a brand for consideration please email


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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.