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    EDITOR’S NOTE: Going Private

    Much has been written about the ascendancy of private label in grocery, especially during the current recession, but, according to a recent study by Daymon Worldwide, this popularity is likely to hold as consumers face a slow economic recovery and emerge chastened when it comes to spending unnecessary dollars on food.

    Much has been written about the ascendancy of private label in grocery, especially during the current recession, but, according to a recent study by Daymon Worldwide, this popularity is likely to hold as consumers face a slow economic recovery and emerge chastened when it comes to spending unnecessary dollars on food. Grocers that take advantage of this long-term shift in consumer perception of store brands will be able to craft a winning differentiation strategy for themselves.

    Center store has long been a bastion of private label sales, and supermarket operators can keep that momentum going by adding more store-brand versions of the items that consumers are increasingly seeking out, including natural and organic, better-for-you, functional, locally produced and/or manufactured, ethnic, and premium/gourmet products, combined with high-profile promotions and displays. There’s more choice than ever in the private label arena these days, and grocers should be tapping into it.

    Beyond the world of private label, the past few weeks have been busy in the center store, with the recent rollout of many exciting new products at the annual Kosherfest trade show; Winn-Dixie’s highly “constructive” approaches to helping the needy in its market areas; Martha Stewart’s continuing quest for world domination through the introduction of several branded product lines in partnership with natural/organic CPG company Hain Celestial, as well as an alliance with Mars’ Dove Chocolate; and the IDFA’s call for new governmental policies to allow the dairy industry to seize certain growth opportunities.

    As can be seen from this flurry of activity in advance of the holidays, whether in relation to store brands or not, increasing profits is always in season.

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