Canadian retailers celebrate key anniversaries with new store brand SKUs

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Canadian retailers celebrate key anniversaries with new store brand SKUs

By Carolyn Schierhorn - 10/27/2017
Longo's Signature Sour Cherry, Lime and Rosemary Spread is one of the SKUs introduced in honor of Canada's 150th birthday.

Established Canadian private brands are so integrated into the country’s grocery sector that retailers proudly mark very special occasions with new and unexpected store brand SKUs.

For example, to celebrate its 70th anniversary this year, Montreal-based Metro Inc. has been rolling out a limited-edition range called Collection within its premium Irresistibles brand. With dozens of SKUs altogether, this line includes many distinct, pleasure-providing products, ranging from Chocolate Brownie Chewy Cookies to Shrimp Tartlets to Montreal Steak Spice Old-Fashioned Potato Chips, notes Marie-France Gibson, Metro’s vice president of private label.

Similarly, Vaughan, Ontario-headquartered Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc., which has a national brand equivalent and a signature tier, launched at least one new private brand product each month in 2016 to mark the 32-store retailer’s 60th anniversary. Some of these originally limited-edition items have made their way into Longo Brothers’ Signature private brand offerings, most notably the retailer’s ice cream sandwiches and its fresh Campari tomato sauce.

This year, in honor of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Longo Brothers has introduced two waves of new store brand products, one in the summer and one in the fall, points out Jenny Longo, the company’s director of private brands. The on-trend SKUs are sourced from Canada and include such items as peach sparkling wine and ghost pepper hot sauce, she says

“Traditionally, we’ve had an older customer base, but we are trying to cater more to millennials, who we know shop differently,” Longo observes. “They have different needs and wants than other consumers.”

For more on Canadian private brands, see the article titled “Canada’s Private Brand Boom” in Store Brands’ upcoming November issue.

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