What’s the Active Ingredient in your Private Brands Strategy?

\"FMIBy Doug Baker, Vice President, Private Brands, Food Marketing Institute

\"DougWith a last name like “Baker” you’d expect me to know a thing or two about ingredients. When it comes to making a cake I’m decent, but where my baking skills excel is actually with private brands. We recently teamed up with Acosta Mosaic Group’s Strategic Advisors team to survey food retailers about what are the best active ingredients to private brands strategies.

The FMI Store Brand Strategies 2014 Report finds that today’s private brands are facing a new value equation, where customers are looking for their brands to go beyond price, placement, promotion, product and profit. Instead, private brands need more active ingredients that speak to strategy, value and quality, such as:

  • Flour, Not Fluff – Internal support and leadership combined with associate support from in-store brand ambassadors is key to building a solid private brands strategy.
  • A Pinch of Spice – Product innovation mixed with consumer engagement and feedback should continue to drive private brands strategy.
  • Icing on the Cake – The value equation continues to evolve from simply price to performance through function, health, convenience or even social responsibility. Private brands that offer these added components will stand out to consumers.

In the end, food retail private brand owners no longer need to be singularly focused on moves made by national brands, but instead should capitalize on this new consumer value equation. Join us to learn more at the Private Brands Business Conference this November at and connect with us on Twitter at @FMIPrivateBrands.


FMI Connect Adds Private Brand Focused Expo

\"MccormickArlington, Virginia based trade association The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has announced that its 2014 FMI Connect which will be held in Chicago’s McCormick Place show will offer attendees a redesigned exhibit hall. The newly reformatted tradeshow, will offer attendees a global food retail experience June 10-13, 2014. Exhibits will include the PMMI-PACK EXPO Innovations in Packaging Pavilion, with a special focus on Private Brand as well as the Fresh Pavilion, the Technology Pavilion, and the Health and Wellness Pavilion.

“The food retail industry is filled with innovative leaders who see challenges as an opportunity to blaze new paths,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO, “FMI Connect will be a festival of inspirational thinking where challenges will be confronted creatively, imaginations can run wild and possibilities for the future will be openly embraced.”

The FMI Connect badge will allow attendees entrance to the co-located events, including FMI Foundation Food Retail Safety Forum, United Fresh 2014, InterBev, and NASDA.

To register visit




FMI Appoints Doug Baker VP of Private Brands

\"DougToday, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced that it has appointed Doug Baker as its new vice president of private brands. A recognized leader with nearly three decades of food retailing and manufacturing experience, Baker will advance FMI’s commitment to investing in brand equity and strengthening the FMI private brands community.

Baker began his career in the food retail industry in 1984, working at Fry’s Food Stores in Arizona. His 29 years in the food business include numerous promotions and leadership roles at Fry’s, Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and Federated Group, LLC, where he was most recently vice president of sales. Throughout his career, Baker has focused on retail operations, consumer packaged goods manufacturing, private brand development and marketing. His skills complement the cooperative efforts necessary for advancing FMI’s private brand supplier relationships from center store outward – so that the sphere of partnerships embrace every aisle and every department of the store.

“Private Brands continue to be a significant part of food retailer strategies for success, providing them with opportunities to lead in product innovation and creatively address customer needs on every aisle in the supermarket,” FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin said.  “Doug’s expertise will help FMI expand resources and reach in the arena of private brands, leading it to take its rightful place as an integral component in FMI’s vision for total store collaboration.”

Baker has served as an education committee member for the Private Label Manufacturers Association and on FMI’s Supply Chain Consolidation committee. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a certification from St. Joseph’s University Private Label Execution Education Program.

Daymon Worldwide

Daymon Announces Research Study Into Global Food Culture Shifts

\"\"Stamford, Connecticut based private label broker Daymon Worldwide has teamed with the Hartman Group to launch a research study into global food culture shifts and the implications for food retailing. The announcement was made at the Food Marketing Institute 2012 annual conference by Daymon CEO Carla Cooper with Hartman CEO Harvey Hartman.

“Food is life, and with the cultural changes underway throughout the world, there are tremendous shifts happening in how people eat,” said Cooper.   “Occasions are now driving food choices, and retailers need to better understand how this is impacting their customers.”

Daymon is partnering with the Hartman Group to conduct the study. With an expertise in how consumers live, shop and use products, the Hartman Group specializes in uncovering the “why behind the buy” through a unique suite of integrated custom and primary research capabilities.   The company is recognized for its breakthrough perspectives on emerging and evolving consumer behaviors in foods culture, health & wellness, and sustainability.

“Daymon Worldwide is widely recognized for their expertise in global retail branding and sourcing, and we’re delighted to work with them on this research program,” said Harvey Hartman, founder and CEO of the Hartman Group.  So, in an era where consumers face more choices for foods and beverages—in brands, products and retail channels—than ever before, Daymon has recognized the need for a new consumer-centric approach to deliver strategic solutions to the retail industry.”

Results of the research study will be completed later this year and will be available exclusively to FMI members.  For additional information on the study, contact Virginia Morris at or (203) 352-7659.


FMI Previews New Industry Trends Perspective

\"\"Today, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) previewed the findings of its 2012 U.S. Grocery Shopper trends research in a presentation by FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin, addressing participants at FMI2012, the Food Retail Show in Dallas. Seeking to help retailers shape their strategies for future growth, Sarasin identified and examined the implications of four significant and interrelated movements.

Undergirded by data provided by FMI research partner and global consulting firm Booz & Company, and making use of video, social media, and an expert panel of food retailers, Sarasin’s presentation focused on the significance of the following four trends, laying the groundwork for a broader FMI and Booz & Company collaborative education series in the coming months.

Value-Seeking as a Way of Life

  • Consumers responded to the 2007–2009 recession by choosing private brands and less expensive food options, making fewer trips and buying fewer items at the grocery store, shopping around for deals, and generally seeking value in their grocery shopping. Interestingly, even consumers in segments not directly affected by the recession exhibited some of these behaviors. As the slow economic recovery continues, research indicates these cost-cutting behaviors are persisting and will continue to do so in the immediate future. This has resulted in a “new normal,” reshaping consumer shopper patterns.

Technology as a Fact of Shopping Life

  • More than half of all shoppers now use technology either before or during their shopping trips. Much of this activity focuses on “value discovery”—deals, coupons, price comparisons, etc. As technology improves, more and more customers will be able to readily discover the lowest prices for the goods they want. In a world in which the lowest price can be located with a few swipes or clicks, retailers are encouraged to utilize online means to build relationships with customers.

Online Shopping Eating Away at Center Store

  • More than a decade has elapsed since online grocer Webvan sank without a trace. But online grocery shopping is making a comeback, as specialist online retailers carve out target categories. Sales numbers of these new specialists now equal those of full-line e-commerce grocers. Online “old-timers” also continue to chip away at key categories with simple searching and subscription purchasing. More than half of shoppers buy a grocery category online at least occasionally. As digital natives become household shoppers, this is likely to become much more common, pushing retailers to look for ways to better blend their bricks-and-mortar stores with their (or others’) online presence.

Format Innovation Pointing to New Differentiators

  • Over the last five years, the grocery industry has added approximately 150 million square feet of new capacity. None of that new space was built by traditional supermarket retailers; rather, it was added by supercenters, dollar stores, drugstores, and other small formats like fresh specialists and hard discounters. New formats continue to expand, making it more likely that tomorrow’s shopper will have a landscape of options to meet any and all of his or her food retail needs. In this environment, retailers will seek ways to differentiate themselves through merchandise selection, value, convenience, in-store services, customer relationships, and innumerable combinations of these attributes.

FMI and Booz & Company will release a report detailing these trends in addition to a series of webinars. More information will be available in May to FMI members and media.