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Private-label implementation to eat up 50% of food share

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — The share of private-label brands and products will double to 50% by 2025, thanks to a continued emphasis made by retailers.

In a new report released by Rabobank’s Food and Agribusiness Research division, author Sebastiaan Schreijen noted that national brands and smaller, secondary brands (referred to as "A" and "B" brands, respectively) will prompt an intense price competition and therefore will cause the private-label market to become chock-full of higher-quality "B"-brand products at lower prices.

Additionally, Schreijen said, U.S. retailers only have hit the tip of the private-label iceberg; continued industry consolidation will be fueled by such initiatives as private-label implementation, as well as scale in logistics, procurement, marketing and store opening strategies, since a larger operating scale provides more opportunities to launch private labels, he said.

Many U.S. retailers already have taken note of this. Both CVS and Walgreens have entered the private-label business. CVS continues to boost its private-label portfolio with the official unveiling of its Just the Basics line — announced at the company’s analyst meeting in October 2010 — while Walgreens highlighted its private-label line last month with an ad campaign and a new beer, sold under the name Big Flats 1901.

What’s more, U.S. consumers have weathered a tough economy by opting to purchase private-label products. Many also have continued their recession-proof purchases as the economy has recovered, and even recommend such products to others.

Click here to read the full report.

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Upper Deck evolves with video trading cards

BY Allison Cerra

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Upper Deck will unveil its latest innovation this spring.

New Evolution video trading cards will make their appearance in the 2011 Upper Deck football collection, which will be released April 12.

Four standout gridiron stars comprise the initial unveiling of the Evolution inserts: running back Adrian Peterson, quarterback Tony Romo, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and hard-hitting linebacker Patrick Willis. Each of the booklet-type cards measure in at the same height (3.5 in.) and width (2.5 in.) as a regular trading card, Upper Deck said.

In line with the launch, Upper Deck is running a series of online Evolution banner ads and launched a special landing page devoted to the product’s debut next month at UpperDeck.com/Evolution.

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Safeway gets nod from AFP

BY Allison Cerra

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway this week received an award for demonstrating commitment to various causes through financial support and encouragement.

The retailer said it received the 2011 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. AFP presented the award to Safeway’s EVP Larree Renda, who also serves as chair for the company’s charitable organization, the Safeway Foundation.

Safeway raises and donates more than $200 million in monetary and product support to various causes, including cancer research, education, hunger relief and organizations helping people with disabilities, according to the company.

“Safeway is a model of corporate citizenship, not only taking the lead on a broad range of issues, but also working closely with local employees to ensure that community needs are addressed through its philanthropy,” said Paulette Maehara, president and CEO of AFP. “Safeway is a shining light of innovation and dedication to the charities it supports, and all of us at AFP are honored to be able to recognize the company for its philanthropic efforts.”

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