This year’s Private Label Manufacturers Association conference (held in
There were some real stand outs that demonstrated that - at least in terms of packaging and presentation - retailers are finally starting to think beyond the traditional store brand paradigm and are laying the foundation for real brands that could some day have real brand equity. I haven’t been overly complimentary of Kroger’s premium private label efforts to date – they’ve just been too “cookie cutter.” But their new MIRRA skin care and anti-aging brand looks great and may do well competing with the national brands at a great price point. It certainly has the potential to give some of CVS’s proprietary brands a run for their money.
Another unexpected stand out for me was from Price Chopper. Its new line of premium skillet meals under the “Central Market Classics” brand looks fresh, up-to-date and the packaging screamed quality. Will what’s inside deliver? That will be the ultimate test of whether price Chopper is just good looking design or whether they’ve put together the whole “package.”
Some other notables include the “de-lish” brand from Duane Reade – it looked like real quality. And perhaps the best is Via Roma, A&P’s Italian specialty line. A&P and Duane Reade leading the pack? I know! That’s unexpected. Cool!
Outside of food and packaged goods, one has to tip their hat to Staples “M” brand and Office Max’s TuL and Divoca lines. Mike Kitz at Office Max has really put it all together. In contrast to these thoughtful and well executed brands, one display pitted
Another disappointment for me was 7-Eleven’s “7-select.” Kudo’s to 7-Eleven for seizing the opportunity - but it could have been so much more! I always look for these new brands to elevate the customer’s expectations – at least a bit. They have the potential to create a surprise and make the shopping experience more fun. 7-Select is true to the 7-Eleven brand in its look and feel but it lacks that something extra to make it a real brand.