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Grocers continue to see private label as a huge opportunity

Over 80% of industry executives said they plan to increase private brand investments in the next two years, according to a new survey from FMI

More than 80% of industry executives said they plan to increase private brand investments moderately or significantly in the next two years, according to a recent report from FMI — The Food Industry Association.  

The report, “The Power of Private Brands 2023,” suggests that, at the same time, only 10% of the executives responding said their organizations are “very far along” with innovation, indicating opportunities for progress. 

“After temporary pauses to some innovation efforts because of pandemic supply disruptions and ongoing consolidation, many food retailers are ready to jumpstart innovation in collaboration with their supplier partners,” said Doug Baker, FMI vice president, Industry Relations. “Respondents said that while new products are always an important part of innovation, the efforts need to go well beyond new item introductions, including focusing on branding, purchasing, logistics, inventory management, marketing, and more.”

Baker added that consumer demand for information about the products they use and consume has remained at an all-time high. For instance, he said, many consumers now engage in a hybrid approach to shopping, using both in-store and digital touch points.

The report outlines how grocers say they are capitalizing on shopper behaviors to market private-brand products in multiple ways:  

  • Using labels to provide transparency and talk about value beyond cost savings, including how and where ingredients are sourced
  • Switching from a brand they usually buy to a different brand that provides more in-depth product information beyond the physical label, creating an opportunity for grocers to utilize smart labels and other digital tools
  • Focusing on sustainable packaging and using labels to relay stories about food producers and recycling information
  • Building consistent brand experiences across digital channels and using social media and ecommerce platforms to promote store brands
  • Incentivizing repeat customers with loyalty programs like discounts and points systems.

Baker added, “Inflation-driven price increases throughout the store have also spiked significant consumer interest in private brands as shoppers look for ways to stretch their grocery dollar farther, with nearly 77% of customers who are already purchasing private brands say they expect to buy even more in the future.”

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