Fifty2, The MPB Project: Walmart – Marketside

FIFTY2 - Walmart - Marketside  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 Fifty2 The MPB Project Logoweekly series presents a look at one great Private Brand with insight, analysis and original photography. 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


In late 2008, Bentonville, Arkansas based retailer Walmart began Marketside, their grand experiment in small format fresh foods grocery stores in the Phoenix metropolitan area. By 2011, the few remaining locations were shuttered and the experiment came to a quiet close. However, the lasting and significant impact of the Marketside brand is still found in the Walmart of today.

In July 2009, the retailer began testing Marketside Private Branded products in its Walmart stores. Despite being overshadowed by the redesign and dramatic expansion of value positioned Great Value, Marketside has thrived and grown. The brand serves as the consistent, stalwart beacon of fresh quality in a retailer known for low prices but not great food. The Marketside brand and its package design speak to quality and freshness with a modern, credible and approachable branded voice. It stands on its own as a brand and has successfully abandoned the copycat ugly design of Walmart’s private label of old in favor of a unique and differentiated brand experience.

The brand now encompasses close to one hundred products including: refrigerated meals, pizzas, bread and rolls, fresh pastas, salad dressings, bagged and prepared salads, and produce. Perhaps more interesting than the sku count or categories are the unashamedly premium and seasonal products that bring the brand to life: Spinach Artichoke Hummus, fresh grilled chicken and spinach ravioli, Garlic Parmesan Italian Loaf Bread, Harvest Blend Salad, and fresh salsas, sauces and refrigerated salad dressings like sesame ginger, white balsamic yogurt and the seasonal pumpkin apple spice vinaigrette.

The Marketside brand demonstrates the potential for Walmart to not only create and manage great brands that give customers a reason to love the store for more than just low prices, but to leverage those brands to build credibility in categories and price points where they are challenged.

Brand: Marketside
Brand Focus:
Bentonville, Arkansas
2011 USA Retail Sales:
2011 Stores: 4,423

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.