Kroger Names Gil Phipps VP of Branding, Marketing and Our Brands

    The Kroger Co. today named Gil Phipps, currently vice president of Our Brands, to vice president of branding, marketing and Our Brands, effective August 15.

    Mr. Phipps joined the company in 2012 and led the transformation of Our (private) Brands by evolving existing private brands and introducing new private brands that resonate with customers. Through elevating recipes and product formulations, inserting personality into packaging and more, Mr. Phipps has increased customer loyalty and driven record Our Brands sales growth.

    “We are fundamentally changing how we market to and engage with our customers, and Gil is the perfect talent—a personality full of creativity, imagination and fun who loves food and new meal experiences—to lead the way,” said Stuart Aitken, Kroger’s group vice president and CEO of 84.51°. “Kroger’s new marketing approach is more engaging, cross-functional, data-driven, and customer-led in support of Restock KrogerAs we redefine the customer experience, we are using compelling marketing communications to create uplifting connections with our shoppers that earn even more of their sales, trust and loyalty.”

    With Mr. Phipps’ leadership and influence, the private brand business has substantially increased. If private brand were a unique consumer packaged goods company on the Fortune 500 list, it would rank number 138. Mr. Phipps was instrumental in introducing Simple Truth, now the largest natural and organic brand in America with more than $2 billion in annual sales.

    “The retail industry is dynamic, exciting and changing, and I’m thrilled to take on this role at this very moment to transform the way Kroger connects with our customers to elevate our brand across America,” said Mr. Phipps. “We will continue to build on how we use data points powered by 84.51° to create marketing communications and experiences that are even more relevant, meaningful and personalized.”

    Mr. Phipps started his grocery career in 1987 as a store director for Fresh Plus Grocery in Austin, Texas. Following the role, he became brand manager for Guiltless Gourmet before moving into brand marketing positions at both Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods and Hormel Foods. In 2001, Gil joined H-E-B as a brand manager before earning a series of promotions that placed him as the leader of H-E-B’s store brands program.

    In 2015, Supermarket News recognized Mr. Phipps as one of the “Top Disruptors” in the industry.

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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.