Kroger names Gil Phipps VP of branding, marketing and store brands

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Kroger names Gil Phipps VP of branding, marketing and store brands

Under Gil Phipps, Kroger's store brands are soaring.

Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. named Gil Phipps vice president of branding and marketing in addition to his current role as vice president of Our Brands, which he has served for the past six years. Phipps’ new responsibilities are effective Aug. 15, the company stated in a press release.

Joining Kroger in 2012, Phipps led the transformation of Kroger’s Our Brands line, which includes several tiers of private brands, by evolving existing brands and rolling out new ones that peaked consumer interest. Elevating food and beverage recipes and formulations, and inserting personality into packaging were a few ways Phipps increased customer loyalty and drove record Our Brands sales, the company said.

In June, when Kroger announced its first-quarter earnings, the grocery chain also announced it achieved the highest-ever dollar share in the history of its Our Brands, which enjoyed 5.1 percent sales growth and a 3.4 percent unit growth in the quarter.

"We are fundamentally changing how we market to and engage with our customers, and Gil is the perfect talent — a personality full of creativity, imagination and fun who loves food and new meal experiences — to lead the way," said Stuart Aitken, Kroger's group vice president.

Phipps started his grocery career in 1987 as a store director for Fresh Plus Grocery in Austin, Texas. Later, he was brand manager for Guiltless Gourmet, then moved into brand marketing for Michael Angelo's Gourmet Foods and then Hormel Foods.  In 2001, he joined H-E-B as a brand manager before moving up to lead H-E-B's store brands program.

Phipps also appeared on the cover of Store Brands' February issue, when the chain was honored as Store Brands’ 2018 Retailer of the Year.