The latest edition of the video webzine from the Private Label Manufacturers Association PLMA Live! features Kurt Goldschmidt presenting the six newest members inducted into the Private Label Industry Hall of Fame.
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It’s Hall of Fame time and Kurt Goldschmidt reveals the six newest members inducted into the Private Label Industry Hall of Fame.
Back in 2006, PLMA and Private Label Magazine created the Private Label Industry Hall of Fame, to give recognition to retailers and manufacturers who helped make store brands the success it is today. Over the years, a few things have changed. Private Label magazine is now Store Brands magazine, and initial four inductees have grown to more than thirty members, giving testimony to the achievements of pioneers, innovators and industry leaders.
This year, the Hall of Fame welcomes six new members. Their careers will be highlighted in the March issue of Store Brands and celebrated at PLMA’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. Allow me to introduce you to them.
As chairman and CEO of Cott Beverages from 1989 to 1997, Gerry Pencer realized that a premium private label cola could help launch a whole new generation of store brands. Forging partnerships with like-minded manufacturers in key categories, he brought his passion to the executive suites at his retail customers. Success became a watershed as more and more retailers began positioning their own brands to compete with iconic national brand leaders.
Taking his place among the industry’s early pioneers is Donald Albrecht, who headed Federated Foods from the late 1950s until his passing in 1986. Long before generics came on the scene, he assigned Federated customers exclusive marketing rights to the company’s Red & White label. In so doing, he built a solid distribution system serving chains that might otherwise lack the resources to commit to promoting private label, and also set the stage for Federated Group to become a key player in the industry’s growth.
Dennis Kinser joined Associated Wholesale Grocers in 1969 and over the course of four decades at the wholesaling cooperative, he was the prime mover behind the creation and expansion of a private label enterprise that became AWG Brands. With a reputation for leveraging operational efficiencies to generate investments in program and product development, he built AWG Brands into core a competency of the company en route to attaining the position of senior vice president for grocery products.
Mark Husson emerged as one of the leading industry research analysts beginning in the 1990s during his tenure with the investment firm JPMorgan. On Wall Street and in the media, the unique role he played in focusing attention on the private label industry had lasting impact and demonstrated the existence of a direct correspondence between a retailer’s financial performance and its commitment to its own brands as measured by penetration.
Doug Palmer is widely recognized as a store brands innovator and groundbreaker. As Vice President of Corporate Brands at Safeway, he led an unprecedented re-launch for the retailer’s extensive private label portfolio, creating the highly successful ‘O’ Organics brand among others. Subsequently he re-energized A&P Own Brands with award-winning programs in natural, organic, premium and specialty foods. His current work is being done on the supplier side as Senior Vice President of olive producers Agro Sevilla, and as a store brands marketing and branding consultant.
Among private label sales and marketing executives, there are few who embody as Rick Witherspoon does the professionalism and commitment that a manufacturer requires to succeed as a store brands supplier. From the mid-1980s, as vice president heading national accounts for Merico, … at Earthgrains and the Eurodough international private label divisions of Anheuser Busch and Sara Lee, … and presently as an industry consultant, Rick’s optimism, insight and tireless advocacy for the business of store brands continue to educate and inspire.
To all of the new inductees, I want to offer my congratulations. I look forward to introducing some of them to you in person in Orlando.
For PLMA Live! I’m Kurt Goldschmidt.