SB: When did the company begin to think about private label and what was the strategy/mission going into it?
MH: When it took off in 2019, our private label program was focused on food rescue buys and as we began to expand, we evolved into what we offer today. To us, private label is where companies gain their distinction from other companies. We knew that our private label should be about storytelling but also that each item has to taste good and delight the customer as well. From our chocolate-covered pretzel pieces to our dried mango, the main ingredients have a story that helps drive our mission. Plus they’re delicious!
SB: How many total private label products are available from the company and in what categories?
MH: We currently offer up to 103 products under our private label (dependent on seasonality), and by the end of 2021, we hope to be at 200. As of 2021, our private label makes up 34% of our overall offerings. Customers can find anything from meat and seafood to pantry items, and most recently, health and beauty items.
SB: What are some of your favorite private brand products and why?
MH: My personal favorite private label items to launch were the items in the holiday collection last year, including Nutty Toffee Morsels, Broken Almond Pieces, and Peppermint and Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Pieces — a holiday twist on the pretzel pieces we currently offer. The holiday assortment was our first venture into whimsical packaging design, and our customers really loved them.
SB: What’s the process of coming up with an item to include in the private label assortment — do they need to reflect the roots of the company in some way?
MH: Similar to our company values, each product under our private label touches sustainability in some way. Whether we’re buying misshapen or off-colored pantry items, like our spaghetti and not so tri-colored quinoa, or chunks of poultry and seafood, like our bacon ends and broken shrimp pieces, the products must align with our overall mission of eliminating food waste.