Categories
Christopher Durham Featured

$100,000+ of free advertising on My Private Brand

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to impact shoppers, retailers, and private brands around the world, we believe in the strength and resilience of the private brand community. This post is designed to remind our readers about our new initiatives designed to build the private brand community and help you grow business in these trying times.

COVID-19: FREE BANNER ADS

To support private brand manufacturers and service providers during the Covid-19 crisis, we are excited to offer more than $100,000 worth of free advertising on My Private Brand. The offer makes available 12 FREE banner ads per month on the front page of My Private Brand. Four 200×200 banner positions in a single row under the main feature stories. Each location will have three dynamically rotating ads.

  • Individual ads will run a minimum of 1 month and no longer than three months
  • One ad per company
  • Formats: GIF, JPG, PNG
  • DPI: 72
  • Max Size: 75kb
  • All ads are static and may not have animation
  • Offer runs six months, April-September 2020.

COVID-19: FREE GUEST POSTS

My Private Brand has always accepted guest posts; however, we have rarely pursued them. Today we are inviting you to participate. To be a part of the conversation and help drive private brand forward. Guest posts are not advertisements. They are thought leadership pieces designed to encourage conversation, present a different perspective, or inform.

And no just in case you are wondering they do not have to be COVID-19 related. They do have to be Private Brand specific – let\’s challenge each other. What does the future look like? What could we do better today? How can we grow the size of the pie and not simply the slice? What does Private Brand Strategy actually mean? How should a Private Brand Portfolio be managed? and so on…

Here\’s what you get:

  • Exposure to My Private Brands readership
  • 1 backlink to the corporate website
  • Author byline
  • Bio with photo and backlink to LinkedIn profile
  • All guest posts will be cross-promoted on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

So, what do we need?

  • Authors must be leaders or up and comers in the private brand industry.
  • All content must be private brand specific. If the post is not directly relevant to private brand, it will not be accepted.
  • All submissions must be original concepts, compelling arguments, and high-quality writing. We will not republish anything that’s been published elsewhere. 
  • The guest posts must reflect the tone of My Private Brand. We aim to be casual, yet authoritative, and typically we stay away from buzzwords and jargon. We prefer the phrases “private brand” or “store brand” over private label and never use the phrase “private label brand”.
  • Attribution of data, quotations, and outside content referenced in the article.
  • No more than one link to your company’s website in the body of the post.
  • 500-100 words
  • 1-2 original images illustrating the post. 1400×790 pixels, 72 DPI
  • Author Name, Title, and Company
  • Author Bio – 150 words or less
  • Author headshot
  • We reserve the right to edit and adapt your guest blog content as we see fit, and update it in the future for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
  • Once published, the guest post becomes the property of My Private Brand/Folio28 LLC.
  • If your post meets editorial standards and aligns with our content strategy, we will respond to let you know your article will be published. That process may take up to 2 weeks. Due to the volume of requests we receive, we cannot respond to all submissions.
  • Offer runs six months, April-September 2020.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we announce more exciting additions to My Private Brand.

Stay Safe & Healthy.

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Christopher Durham
President, My Private Brand
Co-founder, The Vertex Awards

Categories
Featured guests

Is the New Nutrition Facts Panel the Wild West

Below is the next guest post in our campaign to help the Private Brand community during these trying times. The post comes from Maria Dubuc, President, MBD. 

Apply to guest post or participate in the FREE banner program 


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Ashley Smits,
Marketing by Design (MBD)

Once referred to as The Wild West by MBD’s head production artist, the new nutrition facts panel (NFP) mandated by the FDA has come a long way from its implementation in the summer of 2016. With any new initiative it takes time to understand the new rules and regulations, but MBD has been doing it for private brands for years now. So, as the old Cowboys on the block, I’m going to give you a rundown of some of the main things we’ve learned as we came head-to-head with the New Guy in town.

First and foremost, we like it! Although MBD and our private brand clients are focused on the packaging-side, we’re consumers as well and we think that the new nutritional facts table is a really smart adjustment to food packaging. Important information for consumers is now made very clear. Calories is now enlarged and bold while the serving sizes are getting closer to realistic amounts that individual humans probably consume in one sitting. See below for a visual of the new table versus the old one.

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Now that you’ve seen the visual differences, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty! Here’s a couple of key findings my team has learned over the years about the new nutritional facts panel:

1. Rounding rules: One of the gray areas of the new NFP!

The FDA has rounding rules for each nutrient on the panel. Sometimes manufacturers or suppliers provide us new nutritional sheets with values unrounded. These are usually scientific amounts from lab analysis but since the rules around rounding values allow for some variety, you have to decide (most likely with your retailer) on consistent rounding rules. See below an example of a rounded NFP versus an unrounded one. And here’s a link to those rounding rules as well: http://drupaltesty.foodlabels.com/pdf/foodlabels.com_2016-rounding-rules.pdf

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2. Size: One of the challenges with the new NFP!

The new label is larger than the old one, so one of the biggest issues can be fitting it on an existing label where there is not enough space. There are specific rules when it comes to sizing of the overall footprint of the panel, each element that makes up the panel, and the text within the panel. It’s not as simple as scaling the entire element to fit or knocking down the text a few point sizes to make it work. It requires systematic design shifts that allow the new panel to fit while remaining compliant.

3. Pure Sugar: One of the nerdy things we find interesting!

After we started using the new panel, there was debate on products that are naturally sugar-based (i.e. honey, agave, maple syrup). These specific industries fought the new panel’s “added sugars” line since it would suggest that refined sugar was also added to their products when they weren’t. The resolution was that this line can be eliminated from natural sugar-based products but that the labeling still needed to convey the Daily Value percentage plus an explanation in the footnote. See below example of an original NFP label for honey versus the newly approved version.

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With large changes to packaging regulations, there’s always growing pains but MBD has been proud of its private brand clients who were proactive in updating their labels, learning the new rules, and even taking advantage of updating their designs at the same time they implemented the new NFP. As we say in The Wild West, they did a “bang-up” (first-rate) job!


For the past 5 years, Ashley has worked as an Account and Project Manager for Marketing by Design (MBD), a branding and packaging design agency specializing in high volume retailer programs. At MBD, Ashley’s main experience is in high-volume production rollouts and creative designs for private brands. She has experience with both agency and in-house teams, which helps her to anticipate the expectations and needs of both parties. In addition to management skills, she has a strong foundation in graphic design and natural knack for creativity.

Categories
Christopher Durham Featured

MPB Commits $100,000+ to Support Private Brand during COVID-19

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to impact shoppers, retailers, and private brands around the world, we believe in the strength and resilience of the private brand community. Today, I am excited to announce three new initiatives designed to build the private brand community and help you grow business in these trying times.

Our commitment includes:

  • An exclusive look inside this year’s Vertex Awards entries
  • $100,000+ worth of free advertising on My Private Brand
  • Free Guest Posts on My Private Brand

THE DETAILS:

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INSIDE THE VERTEX AWARDS

The official announcement of the winners of this year\’s Vertex Awards will come the week of May 25, 2020. My Private Brand will spotlight this year’s entries in a daily post on My Private Brand.

COVID-19: FREE BANNER ADS

To support private brand manufacturers and service providers during the Covid-19 crisis, we are excited to offer more than $100,000 worth of free advertising on My Private Brand. The offer makes available 12 FREE banner ads per month on the front page of My Private Brand. Four 200×200 banner positions in a single row under the main feature stories. Each location will have three dynamically rotating ads.

  • Individual ads will run a minimum of 1 month and no longer than three months
  • One ad per company
  • Formats: GIF, JPG, PNG
  • DPI: 72
  • Max Size: 75kb
  • All ads are static and may not have animation
  • Offer runs six months, April-September 2020.

COVID-19: FREE GUEST POSTS

My Private Brand has always accepted guest posts; however, we have rarely pursued them. Today we are inviting you to participate. To be a part of the conversation and help drive private brand forward. Guest posts are not advertisements. They are thought leadership pieces designed to encourage conversation, present a different perspective, or inform.

And no just in case you are wondering they do not have to be COVID-19 related. They do have to be Private Brand specific – let\’s challenge each other. What does the future look like? What could we do better today? How can we grow the size of the pie and not simply the slice? What does Private Brand Strategy actually mean? How should a Private Brand Portfolio be managed? and so on…

Here\’s what you get:

  • Exposure to My Private Brands readership
  • 1 backlink to the corporate website
  • Author byline
  • Bio with photo and backlink to LinkedIn profile
  • All guest posts will be cross-promoted on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter

So, what do we need?

  • Authors must be leaders or up and comers in the private brand industry.
  • All content must be private brand specific. If the post is not directly relevant to private brand, it will not be accepted.
  • All submissions must be original concepts, compelling arguments, and high-quality writing. We will not republish anything that’s been published elsewhere. 
  • The guest posts must reflect the tone of My Private Brand. We aim to be casual, yet authoritative, and typically we stay away from buzzwords and jargon. We prefer the phrases “private brand” or “store brand” over private label and never use the phrase “private label brand”.
  • Attribution of data, quotations, and outside content referenced in the article.
  • No more than one link to your company’s website in the body of the post.
  • 500-100 words
  • 1-2 original images illustrating the post. 1400×790 pixels, 72 DPI
  • Author Name, Title, and Company
  • Author Bio – 150 words or less
  • Author headshot
  • We reserve the right to edit and adapt your guest blog content as we see fit, and update it in the future for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
  • Once published, the guest post becomes the property of My Private Brand/Folio28 LLC.
  • If your post meets editorial standards and aligns with our content strategy, we will respond to let you know your article will be published. That process may take up to 2 weeks. Due to the volume of requests we receive, we cannot respond to all submissions.
  • Offer runs six months, April-September 2020.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we announce more exciting additions to My Private Brand.

Stay Safe & Healthy.

\"\"

Christopher Durham
President, My Private Brand
Co-founder, The Vertex Awards

Categories
Delhaize

Delhaize, Private Brand & Corporate Social Responsibility

This guest post comes from the corporate social responsibility blog csr-reporting: thoughts and insights about social and environmental responsibility and sustainability reporting by Elaine Cohen. The report takes a look at the Delhaize Corporate Responsibility Progress Report 2010 and the role of Private Brands in their corporate responsibility. Traditionally private labels have been little more than margin plays mimicking national brands, the fact that Delhaize leverages it Private Brands as strategic levers in their corporate social reponsibility platforms is groundbreaking. Bravo!

From good to great: reporting materiality

So many Sustainability Reports published in this period… it\’s like being in an ice-cream parlor… haha… very hard to know what to choose. You want to read all of them but you clearly cannot otherwise you would explode (yep, that\’s what happens when I go into an ice-cream parlor.).

One thing that distinguishes a great sustainability report from a good sustainability report, for me, is the way the reporting company handles materiality. I think we have seen many reporters mature in the last couple of years. The better reports are tending to be less shopping-list style with long lists of activities and more issues-based. In the best cases, the issues that companies focus on are plotted on a materiality matrix.

The GRI defines materiality as: Topics and indicators that: reflect the organization’s significant economic, environmental, and social impacts or that would substantively influence the assessments and decisions of stakeholders.\"\"

Materiality matrixes (matrices?) come in many shapes and sizes. Some are rather creative. Some are minimalistic. Some are interactive. Some are so vague that they make you wonder if they have anything to do with materiality. But simply posting your materiality matrix is not enough. Good reporters ensure that the content of their reports actually address the material issues in some depth, providing both reasonable context and strategic relevance. This is the first in a series of materiality posts which examines how companies represent materiality and report on key issues.

Delhaize Corporate Responsibility Progress Report 2010

This is the fourth report of this Belgian-based retailer, operating 2,800 stores in six countries with 138,000 people. This report is Application Level C of the GRI. Retailing has many sustainability issues and Delhaize has navigated these skillfully and present their materiality matrix in which healthy eating and food safety are the number one issues.\"\"

Safety is clear to all, but why would a supermarket select healthy eating as its most material issue both for its own business and for its stakeholders?

Delhaize\’s \”healthy eating\” goals include improving the nutritional quality of private brand products, improving health and wellness communications and applying Guideline Daily Amount labels to private brand products. Aha! Private label brands are a clear competitive arena for retailers and for the first time in Europe, private labels reached 40% in five countries with as much as 57% in Sweden in some categories. In the U.S., private label is said to account for 17% of retail grocery sales. At the same time, private label brands are both more profitable for the retailer and significantly lower in price for the consumer. Surveys show that consumer perception of private label brands is strong. These days, retail brands are all about health and nutrition. There is no self-respecting food manufacturer around who is not reducing salt, sugar, artificial colorings, trans-fats and other undesirables and making loud noises about the fact that they are doing so. Much of the pressure to improve health parameters is coming from consumers who are concerned about the long-term health effect of manufactured foods as well as more and more regulation in this area, including product labeling regulation.

It makes great sense for a retailer such as Delhaize to focus on both improving the health qualities of private label products so as to compete more effectively in this arena and also support the ongoing education of consumers in the healthy options available to them and why. Delhaize claims that private label brands account for over 50% of their revenue in Europe and 26% of revenue in the U.S. and provide a consumer price benefit of up to 20%. This is surely a compelling business case for sustainability. In 2010, Delhaize reviewed formulations of almost 2,000 private label products.

Other materiality \”musts\” for Delhaize that appear in their Materiality Matrix are Employee (associate) development, health and wellbeing, social compliance and climate change.  These are all covered well in the narrative of Delhaize\’s report. Middle-ranking materiality issues for Delhaize include waste, packaging, organics, fair-trade, local sourcing and community, while low-ranking issues include biodiversity, water, animal welfare and more.

Delhaize\’s Corporate Responsibility Report addresses materiality well, in my view. There is a clear link between the high-focus issues and corporate strategy and stakeholder interests. The only thing lacking is a more comprehensive discussion of how the materiality prioritization was developed and what kind of feedback significantly prompted the selection of issues and their ranking by Delhaize. For example, Delhaize does not report on commercial relationships with food manufacturers and food pricing policies, post-purchase food waste prevention (via consumer education), overall contribution to food security and access to food beyond specific community outreach programs. Downstream impacts on packaging and packaging waste is discussed briefly but there is no explanation for the marginal reduction of only 2% of non-reusable carrier bags issue to customers which has barely changed since 2008. I wonder if and to what extent these issues arose in the stakeholder feedback and materiality methodology.

Overall, the Delhaize report gets the message through. The design is bold, clean and clear. Goals and progress against targets are presented in an orderly way and in general, reflect improving performance. The structure for managing CR is transparent and includes people with names and faces.   The online report is nicely navigable and includes case studies, stakeholder voices and the opportunity to provide feedback by email or engage in dialog via the Delhaize CSR blog, and a glossary. (Though some elements, such as the important \”About this Report\” section, including the GRI Index, are only in the PDF download and not accessible from the website, which means you cannot rely entirely on the online report).  The CEO message is delivered via video. As is now becoming popular practice with online reports, you can  \”like\” each page of the report and share your sentiments on the Delhaize Facebook page. No iPad app, yet, though!

\"\"The Delhaize report is partially (a small number of specific indicators) externally and internally assured and includes a statement from Forum for the Future. Internally assured? Delhaize includes a statement from the Group\’s Internal Auditors alongside the statement from external auditors. While there is a clear conflict of interest regarding internal auditing, it does demonstrate a level of internal rigor in the reporting process and I like it. I don\’t recall having seen an internal audit statement before in CSR reports.

Anyway, rounding off this Materiality Post One, Delhaize seems to be moving in the right direction. Next time I am in Delhaize territory, I will be sure to visit! Hope they sell ice-cream.

Elaine Cohen, CSR consultant, Sustainabilty Reporter, HR Professional, Ice Cream Addict. Author of CSR for HR: A necessary partnership for advancing responsible business practices Contact me via www.twitter.com/elainecohen on Twitter or via my business website www.b-yond.biz/en (BeyondBusiness, an inspired CSR consulting and Sustainability Reporting firm)

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