Bi-Lo Food Lion Loblaws Walmart

Private Brand is Clear Value.


BI-LO the one-time Ahold owned grocer based in my hometown of Mauldin, South Carolina featured its Clear Value brand on the back page of its weekly circular this week.  For those of you unfamiliar with BI-LO the grocery chain operates more than 200 stores in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

According to Wikipedia:

BI-LO was founded in 1961 by Frank L. Outlaw. The original name was Wrenn & Outlaw. The company was officially named BI-LO in 1963 after Outlaw conducted an employee store-naming contest to develop the \”brand.\” His secretary, Edna Plumblee, won the contest by submitting the name \”BI-LO.\” BI-LO was sold to Ahold (a Dutch retail food conglomerate) in 1977. In 1994, Ahold purchased Red Food Stores, Inc. and merged its locations (around 55 of them) in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee into BI-LO the following year. In 2001, Ahold purchased the Birmingham, Alabama based Bruno\’s Supermarkets chain and combined its operations with BI-LO.

In 2005, Ahold sold BI-LO/Bruno\’s to Lone Star Funds. In order to concentrate on renovating older stores, building new ones, and investing in newer information technology, the new owners sold off 104 BI-LO and Bruno\’s stores in areas where the chain did not have significant market penetration as well as the three BI-LO/Bruno\’s distribution centers to grocery wholesaler, C&S Wholesale Grocers who converted some of the stores to Southern Family Markets.

\"bilo-cv-pizza\"Clear Value is the BI-LO value tier Private Brand. It clearly shows the Ahold (Giant Carlisle, Giant Landover, Stop & Shop, Pea Pod and Martins) past looking and feeling remarkable similar to the current Ahold value tier brand: Guaranteed Value. Both of these brands also fall into the family of broader value tier Private Brands including: Kroger Value, Tesco Value, Smart Option (Delhaize) and No Name Brand (Loblaw). These brands are finding increasing relevance and growing sales in the current economic conditions.



Bloomberry Muffin Bottoms Strike Back!

Check out this great and funny viral campaign from Bloom. This was started more than a year ago while I was still in Salisbury at the Food Lion Headquarters, Bloom is a part of the Delhaize Group and is located in the same offices. I was fortunate enough to work on many projects with the Bloom team and they always had a unique take on advertising both Bloom the grocery store and their Private Brand products. And the Bloomberry Private Brand muffin top is a excellent product.

Below are a few of the viral web videos they have released over the last year, you can find the lastest ones on their website,


$107.5 Million Worth of Great Taste?

\"a-p-coffee-ad-01\"Private brand coffee seems to be all the rage, ranging from a decent Harris Teeter brand coffee, to Costco’s Kirkland’s and most surprising to the free trade that Walmart and its warehouse cousin are selling. Consumer Reports announced in its March issue the results of its coffee testing and the original private brand coffee Eight O’clock 100% Colombian took the top prize. Eight O’clock Coffee 100% Colombian ($6.28 a pound), won consumer Report\’s “Best Combination of Taste and Price.” Testers raved that the coffee possesses “a complex blend of earthy and fruity, with a bright, pleasing sourness.” Most surprising of the 19 ground coffees tested Starbucks Coffee Colombia ($11.53 per pound) didn\’t even place.

But wait a minute Eight O’Clock isn’t a private brand, is it?

Eight O\’Clock Coffee was introduced by The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) in 1919. By the late Eight O’clock coffee had gained over a quarter of the U.S. market share. In 1979 A&P licensed its division Compass Foods, Inc. to sell Eight O’clock coffee to other retailers including competing grocers. In 2003 they agreed to sell its Eight O’clock coffee division for at least $107.5 million to Gryphon Investors. So now 150 years later Eight O’clock Coffee the one time Private Brand is celebrating its anniversary redesign. But, they’re letting their customers pick the final design. If you read this blog often you have seen articles on Raley’s using similar tactics with their marketing. So check out their website and vote for the one you like, and you could WIN $5,000 in groceries.
The real question here is not whether Eight O\’Clock is a Private Brand but whether we are building brands that are truly assets and could one day sell for $100 million dollars?



Fit & Active, Healthy Eating


Aldi dropped this flyer featuring their Fit & Active Private Brand in our Sunday Paper. These guys are long known for Private Brand but typically it is good value product in packaging that mimics a national brand. And they have alot of brands, they are not shy about creating a new brand for a specific product or category, so its exciting to see this brand. It hits on their strong point of good product, great value and adds in the health and wellness component that is so hot today. They use a Fit & Active as their health and welness program. In a small format value store its genius. Branding that truly creates differentiation and no funny math or multiple logo schemes like other grocers. And they committed their sole advertisement to the brand. Amazing!


Fish Eggs, Fish Eggs!

An interesting addition to the Balducci\’s private brand line, cavier, in this economy you can still splurge, this is the kind of product that could really build loyalty for Balducci\’s. If you are not familiar with this gourmet grocer they have ten stores in the northeast with a beautiful version in ther Chelsea Market home of the Food Network Studios. This story comes from

\”Balducci\’s, the famed Greenwich Village gourmet shop that\’s become a retail juggernaut, has just introduced a new line of private label caviar in time for holiday celebrations. Balducci\’s Own Caviar comes in three basic varieties: Wild Caspian, which includes the famed Sevruga and Royal Osetra varieties, Farmed International, and Domestic. Part of the offering includes the first true Russian Sturgeon to be successfully cultivated in Germany for the production of genuine Osetra caviar (above). Prices range from $9.99 for domestic Salmon and Paddlefish all the way up to $1,500 for the precious Wild Caspian Royal Osetra. Balducci\’s states that all the caviars have been carefully selected for their \”complex flavors and crisp, clean textures.\” Not having tried it we can\’t confirm that, but Balducci\’s typically adheres to pretty high standards.\”

Here is one on a private brand beer

Harbor Greens unveils its ‘Incredible’ beer on private label.