Evolution Calling

Retail private label assortments are growing and suppliers need to be ready to meet this enhanced demand.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
Greg Sleter profile picture
Greg Sleter headshot
Greg Sleter, Executive Editor/Associate Publisher, Store Brands

There’s something happening here, and what it is, is rather clear.

While I’ve borrowed and slightly edited the beginning lyrics from Buffalo Springfield’s 1960s hit For What It’s Worth, this thought has been in my head for a while. The private label industry is experiencing a rather stirring period of evolution, which includes everything from rapid product expansion to how retailers are promoting their store brand products.

Yes, history tells us shopper demand for private label products ebbs and flows with pocketbook issues of the day that are impacting consumers. But what we’re experiencing now feels different. Retailers are seeing a chance to take greater control of what’s on their shelves and web pages while also giving their shoppers a unique assortment of products that can’t be found at the competition up the street.

Throughout the first quarter, I’ve spoken with numerous retailers who had a common message: each wants to expand its private brand assortment. Whether it’s Kroger, Wakefern, Save A Lot or regional grocer Town & Country Markets, which recently added own-brand products for the first time, it’s a good time to be in our business.

Equally important is how retailers are marketing their private brand selections in an effort to raise their profile. No longer content to put products on the shelves and let consumers explore on their own, some retailers now are bringing their message to the living rooms of consumers through aggressive ad campaigns.

The goal? Well, for those retailers with a national or broad regional presence, make consumers think of their private brands as national brands. Including the message “available only at…” in those marketing campaigns also rings true with shoppers and is a great way to build loyalty with those walking in the front door.

As retailers evolve, so must product suppliers. Competition for new business will be fierce, and getting and staying ahead of those around you will be more vital to success. Part of that effort is networking and sharing your company’s story with those looking to buy your products.

Busy retailers want to know what’s happening in the supplier world. From new products, to management changes to expansion of production facilities or warehousing, this information puts retailers in a position to make good decisions about who they should be doing business with.

So drop me a line, and let’s talk about sharing your company’s story. Remember, there’s something happening here.

More Blog Posts In This Series