Editors’ Picks has a new feel this year. Particularly in a COVID-19 retail crisis, the Store Brands staff decided it better to not have manufacturers and retailers send products through the mail for a taste test. Instead, editors culled through hundreds of product entries, and read through recent product news coverage over a qualifying 15-month period.
Our mission was to focus on innovation in a truly booming industry. Consider that private brand sales in May were up 25% year over year, according to Nielsen data. Though the numbers were boosted by the pandemic, even before COVID-19 was a household name, store brand sales were rising. Take, for example, IRI and FMI — the Food Marketing Institute’s November 2019 report that said year-over-year store brand sales outpaced national brands in total store sales across lower-, middle- and higher-income levels, seeing roughly 5% growth at each income level versus national brands’ 1% growth.
Product manufacturers and retailer partners are clearly driving store brands to new heights through innovation and product quality. This was evident in all of the submissions that Store Brands received for Editors’ Picks 2020, and we applaud all the work entered.
But we chose what we thought stood out, settling on the winners in nearly 30 categories. Many of these products were firsts for the industry or helped move store brands forward. We hope you find inspiration in the following winners: