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Christopher Durham Featured

The Myth of Choice! National Brands & The MegaConglomerates Who Own Them

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Standing in Americas grocers large and small manufacturer brands like Coke, Tide and Campbells are ubiquitous. They have claimed the high ground as National Brands – supposedly better and morally superior to those “compare and safe” mimicking private labels. They have convinced many consumers and the mainstream media that their marketing spin and spend give them the right to be real “BRANDS.” While all other pretenders large and small are somehow less.

But a closer look at who they are and what they do reveals a story of multinational conglomerates who own the majority of the real “BRANDS.” A study by the U.S. consumer rights group, Food and Water Watch, examined the market share of 100 common grocery items and unearthed a disturbing truth: American consumers who buy national brands, no matter what the name on the pack, are actually supporting 24 mega-conglomerates.

For instance, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Shedd’s Country Crock, Imperial, Promise and Brummel & Brown seem to be competing margarine brands, but they’re all owned by Unilever. Similarly, ConAgra Foods owns Blue Bonnet, Parkay and Fleishmann’s. Between the two giants alone you have eight supposed margarine national brand choices. As many as 33 more categories are dominated by 2-4 big players. Clearly, that’s not much of a choice.

Despite the popular mythology of “national brand” there is nothing that makes these mega-conglomerates superior to any retailer or their portfolio of private brands.

  • Retailers and their brands must place customers at the center of all decisions.
  • Retailers and their brands must provide the relevant choices that consumers need.
  • Retailers must leverage their weekly interaction with customers to forge unbreakable relationships.
  • Retailers must stop apologizing for owning brands and start leveraging them to fill their customers unique needs in specific ways that nameless faceless mega-conglomerates simply cannot.
  • Retailers must own a robust portfolio of brands that address unique business needs and consumer needs.

Below is a fascinating infographic from Alex Hillsberg that reveals the ownership of manufacturer brands.

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Prepared by business comparisons | Alex Hillsberg | Follow our Pinterest

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Featured

Happy Thanksgiving From My Private Brand!

Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to then President Abraham Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the \”day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.\” She explained, \”You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.\”

The announcement below sets apart the last Thursday of November \”as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.\” According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln\’s secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting.

\"\"Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.
A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

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Convenience & Specialty Featured

Wildology Give Pets the SuperLife

\"\"What would it take to give a pet a super life, a life full of what it means to be a happy pet: chasing, playing, fetching or climbing? To Mid-States Distributing Company, Inc., the owners of new private brand Wildology pet food, the answer is super premium nutrition because well-nourished pets are the healthiest and happiest. Mid-States Distributing Company, Inc. consists of 39 independent, privately-held Farm, Ranch and Home retailers with over 650 retail locations across the United States and Canada.

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\”Cutting-edge research on pet nutrition is accelerating at a rapid pace. New understanding regarding the link between gut health, the immune system, and other bodily functions is evolving our thinking about the connection between diet and health,\” said Jodi Eineichner, Director of Private Brand Management, Mid-States Distributing Company, Inc. It\’s this insight that is the driving force behind Wildology.

\”What really differentiates Wildology from other pet foods is Superlife Pro, a blend of nutrient-rich superfoods and antioxidants, and patent-pending probiotics to support your pet\’s digestive and immune systems and help promote overall wellness,\” said Eineichner. \”Superlife Pro is formulated with antioxidant-rich superfoods such as kale, blueberries, carrots and chia seeds. In addition, each species-specific probiotic in our recipe works in a unique way to help pets.\”

\”Asking ourselves, ‘How would your pet describe a super life?\’ inspired us to create Wildology for happy, healthy pets. We believe that wholesome pet food is like wholesome human food. Our recipes are made with no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives, no wheat, no corn, no soy, no legumes, no peas, no dairy. We focus on the good stuff,\” explains Eineichner.

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Featured

Happy Thanksgiving From My Private Brand!

\"\"Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to then President Abraham Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the \”day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.\” She explained, \”You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution.\”

The announcement below sets apart the last Thursday of November \”as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.\” According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln\’s secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting.

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Categories
Featured grocery

2018: Take a Chance, Make a Mistake, DIFFERENTIATE!

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As this New Year begins I once again invoke what has become an annual tradition, a quote from author Neil Gaiman – take a chance, make a mistake DIFFERENTIATE!

Look for exciting things to come from My Private Brand in the New Year.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
Neil Gaiman