Private Brands Take Center Stage in the Washington Post

Washington Post PRivate Brand

Yesterday, February 25th the Washington post published a nice article that presented an overview of the history of private label a snap shot of private brands today and a anecdotal taste test of canned crushed tomatoes from Aldi, Wegmans, Target, Walmart, Food Lion, Giant, Harris Teeter, Shoppers Food and Pharmacy and Snider’s. Check it out.
Store brands, the (now) welcome option
By 1988, Nabisco’s Chips Ahoy had been on the market for a quarter-century. Two years later, the brand would knock Oreos off the podium as the company’s top-selling cookies; it was already at No. 1 across all of Canada. And Dave Nichol, the man responsible for marketing at that nation’s largest grocery chain, was not happy about it.
He challenged his team at Loblaws to build a better chocolate chip cookie. Use real butter, he said. Twice the chocolate. Package it attractively, and sell it for less
They did. Under Loblaws’ own President’s Choice label, the Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie became a sweet testament to the power of a store brand and celebrated a silver anniversary of its own last year.
Tom Stephens remembers it well, because that’s when the career marketeer brought President’s Choice products to American grocers from coast to coast. “At that time, the U.S. guys wanted the cheapest stuff they could get,” he says, referring to the private labels that earned the term “off brands,” which looked “generic and were poor quality.”
The President’s Choice line represents one turning point in the annals of “American Hustle”-era store brands. When people were discoing in printed polyester, cartons of commodity-type foods were wallflowers in plain white, with simple black lettering. Once retailers began to offer options that undercut name-brand prices and emulated the flavor profile and even the look of name brands, cost-conscious shoppers opened up to them.
Read the entire story.



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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.