Stop & Shop’s Test Kitchen Promotes Own Brands

STOP & SHOP NUTRITIONISTLate last month trade publication The Shelby report presented a nice look inside the private brand test kitchen of Stop & Shop and their increased focus on healthy eating.

Stop & Shop’s Test Kitchen Promotes Own Brands, Healthy Eating And Produce

An expanded test kitchen, healthy eating, and produce on the breakfast table. What is the common denominator? The focal point is Stop & Shop’s kitchen at its corporate New England headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts. The kitchen allows for testing of the company’s Own Brands program, but it has cultivated a center where healthy eating and produce also take center stage in an effort to promote better health all throughout the day—especially at breakfast time.

At a recent press conference, test kitchen manager Nathalie Ohman discussed how Stop & Shop brand products are created and tested before they hit the retail shelves. Produce director Jack Keane discussed how Stop & Shop sources and showcases some of the grocer’s newest offerings in the produce department. Stop & Shop nutritionist Julie Hersey demonstrated how to boost a breakfast with some produce-packed recipes—such as quinoa breakfast salad and a papaya mango smoothie.

The Stop & Shop test kitchen not only tests Stop & Shop Own Brands products to see that they are equal or better than national brands, but they also are tested for consumer appeal, reviewed for labeling regulations, and if approved, designed for packaging.

Every product with the Stop & Shop label is put through a rigorous testing process. Items that are approved move to customer research for final approval. Any item that does not pass customer research does not move forward in development. It is reformulated using feedback collected to improve quality prior to launching the product. Since January 2009, more than 650,000 customers have provided their input on Stop & Shop brand items and more than 4,000 product formulations have been tested in customer research.

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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.