Velocity Europe: Day 2 – Innovation, Sustainability and Authenticity

Bazil Stander, Executive Innovation Chef Lead for Woolworths Australia

The second day of Velocity Europe, Wednesday, October 23 began in the sunny modern Myriad Crystal Conference Center overlooking the Tagus River in Lisbon with a welcome from My Private Brand President Christopher Durham and an opening keynote from Bazil Stander, Executive Innovation Chef Lead for Woolworths Australia he presented The Woolworths Innovation Incubator Journey. Bazil told the story of Woolworth’s journey to create their groundbreaking Innovation Incubator and foster a culture that celebrates and loves food. Plus, a look inside the Woolworths inspiration sessions that inspire product development and food trends in Australia.

Bazil Stander, Executive Innovation Chef Lead for Woolworths Australia

The Future of Grocery – Private Brand the Differentiation Imperative was then presented by Jon Wright the Head of Retail Insight of IGD Retail Analysis.

Inês Capelo De Brito, Designer, Sonae MC/Continente and Ana Sonnemberg De Carvalho, Packaging & Design, Sonae MC/Continente

Inês Capelo De Brito, Designer, Sonae MC/Continente and Ana Sonnemberg De Carvalho, Packaging & Design, Sonae MC/Continente followed with a look inside their beautiful Vertex Award-winning project Bem Me Quer, The Perfect Gift.

Carrie Mesing the Vice President, merchandising for U.S. retailer Fresh Direct

Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but it won’t build a brand that inspires influencers. Carrie Mesing the Vice President, merchandising for U.S. retailer Fresh Direct shared how reinforcing an authentic brand story safeguards private brands and creates differentiation from the competition. Truly authentic brands, like FreshDirect’s Just FreshDirect Private Brand, inspire an emotional connection with consumers, helping to build brand loyalty and increase profitability in the process.

Abby Ayers, Head of Retail Partnerships, Fairtrade US; Vibeke Bryhn, Quality Assurance Manager Europe of Circle K and Brandon Wehmeyer, Senior Private Brands Product Development Manager of Boxed

Abby Ayers, Head of Retail Partnerships, Fairtrade US then moderated the panel Building Brands that Care: Private Brand and Sustainability with Vibeke Bryhn, Quality Assurance Manager Europe of Circle K and Brandon Wehmeyer, Senior Private Brands Product Development Manager of Boxed. The trio discussed their sustainability journeys and the impact of that journey on their private brands.

IPLC Partner Robertus Lombert

Former Lidl director and current IPLC Partner Robertus Lombert then presented an analysis of the strategic importance and success of private brand at the discounters. His real-world experience provided unique insights into the discounter’s uncanny efficiency and strategy.

João Falcato the CEO of Oceanario de Lisboa

João Falcato the CEO of Oceanario de Lisboa closed the conference when he shared their Road to Sustainability.

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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.