Great Value: The fastest moving brand in the US.

The blog Brand Strategy Insider today posted a interesting take on the Walmart Private Brand Strategy.

A Wal-Mart Brand for the Ages

So, do you fancy yourself as an expert on branding? You should have no problem with the following question, then. What\’s the biggest fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) brand in America?

The answer isn\’t Coke, Gillette or J&J – it\’s Great Value, Wal-Mart\’s own-label range. Thanks to its presence in every one of Wal-Mart\’s 4100 US stores, and the fact that more than 5000 stock-keeping units are sold under the Great Value label, it is the biggest grocery brand in the US by both sales and volume.

And it\’s about to get a lot better. Read the rest of the post.


Sr VP of Private Brands at Walmart Discusses Great Value

Reuters conducted this interesting interview with the Senior Vice President of Private Brands for Walmart Andrea Thomas on the recent relaunch of their Great Value brand.


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.



The "Official" Great Value Launch!


Here it is in a press release dated March 16th, published on the Walmart website and released to the newswires the \”official\” launch of the rebranded Great Value brand has finally been announced. For regular readers of this blog, the \”official\” launch will come as no surprise as I have written of it on many occasions. The pictures included are \”official\” Walmart press photos from the Walmart website. I will reserve my reactions to the new Great Value until I can experience it in store and taste it at home, so stay tuned and I will visit the local Walmart and see what I can find.

Here is the release in its entirety:

Walmart\’s Revamped Great Value Brand Delivers Affordable, Quality Choices When Consumers Need Them Most
Retailer Transforms its Great Value Brand with More Products, Consumer Friendly Packaging and Improved Quality

\"cookies-great-value-cropped\"BENTONVILLE, Ark., March 16, 2009 – At a time when families need to make every penny count, Walmart today released new details about the expansion and enhancement of its Great Value brand in the United States. The new, improved Great Value products – which will begin appearing on shelves this month – provide families with affordable, high quality grocery and household consumable options comparable to national brands. The retailer\’s Great Value brand, first introduced in 1993, spans more than 100 categories and is the country\’s largest food brand in both sales and volume.

With a strong focus on better quality, Walmart worked with several hundred suppliers and product testing facilities to:

  • Test more than 5,250 products against leading national brands to ensure Great Value quality is equal to or better;
  • Conduct more than 2,700 consumer tests to compare the flavor, aroma, texture, color, and appearance of Great Value products against leading national brands;
  • Change the formulas for 750 items including: breakfast cereal, cookies, yogurt, laundry detergent, and paper towels; and
  • Introduce more than 80 new products, such as: thin crust pizza, fat free caramel swirl ice cream, strawberry yogurt, organic cage-free eggs, double stuffed sandwich cookies, teriyaki beef jerky and more, all at unbeatable prices.

\”Walmart remains committed to providing our customers with quality national and private brand products at unbeatable prices,\” said Andrea Thomas, Walmart\’s senior vice president of private brands. \”Through our Great Value brand re-launch, we are delivering on our promise to provide customers with the quality products they need and want at a price they can afford to help them save money and live better.\”

According to new consumer data from GfK Custom Research North America, 75 percent of shoppers, say the \”current economic conditions\” are playing a big role in their decision whether to purchase national or grocery store brands. Additionally, three out of 10 consumers in the study say they are now \”buying more store brand products\” compared to a year ago, and more than 77 percent of respondents \”agree\” that the store brands they buy \”are as good as, if not better than, national brand products.\”

In addition to product testing, Walmart redesigned Great Value packaging graphics to create a consistent, recognizable look throughout the store, making it easier for customers to find their favorite products. The new Great Value packaging offers easy-to-read nutrition labels and more appetizing food photography. Walmart also reduced packaging when possible as part of the company\’s sustainability goals.

Walmart is so confident in the quality of its Great Value products that the company guarantees every product.

The retailer plans to continue its focus on quality through a new Quality Monitoring Program, which will provide ongoing evaluation of the quality of products from the factory to the shelves.

Walmart is supplementing its quality promise with a staffed toll free number for product inquiries. Additionally, customers can find product information at

Walmart is asking customers to share their favorite Great Value items by encouraging them to rate the products and offer reviews on

The product re-launch is beginning this month with the majority of products appearing on store shelves by the end of May.

For more information about the Great Value brand at Walmart, visit

Kmart Kohls Walmart Walmart-Fashion

Organic Jeans or a Bowl of Soup?


\"great-value-soup\"Discount big boxes Walmart(Faded Glory) and Kmart(Route 66) join Kohl’s(ReGen) and the plagued department store Macy’s (Greensource)  in adding a Private Brand organic jeans. The jeans are made by Washington-based Greensource a manufacturer who specializes in stylish apparel design and manufacturing.  They are one of the nation\’s largest suppliers of private-label and branded apparel.

Organic jeans are certainly a great way for retailers to provide differentiation through innovative private brand products. The real question is will big box value oriented customers pay the extra $6.00 per pair in this economy. Will they believe there is a value to organic that is worth the more than 60% price increase or will they wander to the grocery end of the store and buy 8-12 cans of Great Value soup to feed their family with that extra $6.00.