• Fermentation Adds Fizz-and-Buzz to Products
    Kombucha, Korean-inspired kimchi and even beauty care products are rising to the top of the food industry headlines. It’s all about fermentation, which adds good gut bacteria inside and absorption efficacy outside. Dr. Kantha Shelke explains how fermentation appeals to health-minded consumers, and the way it can help store brands manufacturers.
    Kantha Shelke
    June 2018
     

    An ancient method of food preservation is brewing up a storm in supermarkets. It’s fermentation ‑ and sales of yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, pickles, miso, and even sauerkraut are rising because health professionals say these fermented foods are naturally good for overall well-being, hailing them as the No.1 superfood for 2018.

    Our ancestors were pretty clever. Vegetables, dairy, and even meats were fermented as a way to preserve them well beyond harvest before the discovery of modern refrigeration and other preservatives. Scientific evidence now shows this process offers unique and numerous health benefits in addition to the eating pleasure.

    Our bodies contain more foreign bacteria than our very own cells. Our gut bacteria actually make vitamin K and a bunch of B vitamins inside our bodies for additional nourishment. When we consume fermented foods, we replenish these beneficial microbes with reinforcements of “good” bacteria and thus improve health and longevity.

     

  • A Toast to Private Label Wine
    Increased wine sales are nothing to sniff at. Discounters like Lidl and Aldi are making store brand wines not only acceptable, but preferable for price and quality. Judith Kolenburg in Amsterdam previews PLMA’s 2018 Salute to Excellence Wine Awards where more than 30 retailers received recognition for private label achievements.
    Judith Kolenburg
    June 2018
     

    Wine, wine, wine. Who would have thought that this most wonderful of nature’s creations would become an important weapon in the retail marketplace.

    Supermarkets and discounters have used their private label ranges to compete for customers for years. But now, the battle for the consumer is being played out in the wine department where retailers have discovered that reds and whites and roses can build store traffic.

    How did supermarket wines become so important?

    German discounters Aldi and Lidl played a big role in making wine accessible for everyone, with wines offered for as little as 5 dollars a bottle. In addition, they made a strategic decision to promote wine to lure new customers into the stores. With good, often local, buying teams and large purchase volumes, they offered high-quality wines at amazing prices. Not surprisingly, they also won many medals at world-famous wine competitions like the International Wine Challenge and the Decanter World Wine Awards.

     

  • Albertsons Add Jim Donald to C-Suite
    Jim Donald joins an expanding, increasingly diversified Albertsons, at a time when the retailer faces the integration of recently purchased Rite Aid drug stores and the possibility of an IPO.

    David Merrefield
    May 2018
     

    Albertsons' store portfolio is growing rapidly and becoming increasingly diversified.

    Maybe that’s why Jim Donald was named President and Chief Operating Officer of Albertsons not long ago. His experience seems broad enough to manage a company that operates supermarkets under 20 different banners.

    But more than that, Albertsons plans to acquire about 2,600 Rite Aid drug stores. That will make it the operator of about 4,900 stores in all. It will also seek to become publicly traded. 

    The newly appointed Donald is a well-known executive with varied experience in managing a wide range of food and nonfood enterprises.

    Most recently, Donald was CEO of Extended Stay America, a sizable lodging chain. He left there in 2015 after a three-year stint. Prior to that he was for two years President and CEO of Haggen, a food and pharmacy retailer.

  • Five Private Label Package Design Trends to Watch
    No longer bland and predictable, store brands packaging has entered a new era of creative, functional and colorful design that improves shelf visibility and sales. Christopher Durham surveys the recent Vertex Awards and the trends he sees driving design today: category specific, simple and beautiful, packaging as art, real stories, and uniquely holiday.
    Christopher Durham
    May 2018
     

    There was a time when private brand design was predictable. How hard could it be to design a generic can of beer? It had a white background and BEER boldly slapped on its side. In the 80s and 90s, retailers rushed to create National Brand Equivalent private labels. Each package was designed to mimic a national brand.

    Today, retailers manage complex portfolios of private brands. Each brand within that portfolio addresses different business needs and speaks to a different customer segment. The corresponding brands are brought to life with unique design strategies.

    Over the last five years, the quality of private brand package design has dramatically improved. Through more than 1,000 entries from 65 retailers located in 37 countries, the Vertex Awards has presented a unique look inside private brand design trends and the retailers shaping them.

    This year five trends emerged.

PLMALive! Archives:
the Best of the Year Past
The Retail Race for the Bottom

Dollar stores, discounters, major supermarket chains and e-commerce are battling each other for sales to consumers at the bottom of the economic ladder. The prize is big profits and it is attracting Aldi, Lidl, Walmart and many others. Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff as they analyze the players, the market and the consumers.

Trader Joe’s Recipe for Innovation

"Innovation is at the heart of our business," says Lori Latta, vice president of innovation for Trader Joe's and one of the new inductees in the Private Label Hall of Fame. Tim Simmons interviews her about the process of creating new products and relationships with suppliers.

Albertsons Adds Jim Donald to C-Suite

Jim Donald joins an expanding, increasingly diversified Albertsons, at a time when the retailer faces the integration of recently purchased Rite Aid drug stores and the possibility of an IPO. David Merrefield reports.

Five Private Label Package Design Trends to Watch

No longer bland and predictable, store brands packaging has entered a new era of creative, functional and colorful design that improves shelf visibility and sales. Christopher Durham surveys the recent Vertex Awards and the trends he sees driving design today: category specific, simple and beautiful, packaging as art, real stories, and uniquely holiday.

The New Digital Revolution in Retailing

Michael Jary predicts a new wave of digital technologies will transform the way people use the internet and these technologies will have a big impact on how retailers do business.

Nielsen Sees Big Store Brands Growth

A new report from Nielsen predicts strong store brands growth in the U.S. and around the world. What is behind the boom? Are the changes permanent? Join news anchor Jodi Daley and PLMA president Brian Sharoff as they analyze what Nielsen is saying and why.

Putting Humpty-Dumpty Together

The integration of brick-and-mortar stores into the digital world may not be as easy as people think. Recent reports reveal that order-to-shelf system, or OTS, is not getting the job done. At many stores, departments are experiencing serious out-of-stocks – the exact opposite of what order-to-shelf is supposed to do. Roy White analyzes the situation.

Is Online for Real?

E-commerce only accounts for 9% of grocery sales but everyone seems to agree that it is destined to grow and grow and grow. Brad Edmondson explains the demographics behind this prediction.

The Danger of “Clean Labels”

Kieran Forsey believes that while there's a groundswell of consumer demand to remove harmful ingredients, there is a danger in focusing too heavily on the negative attributes of products.

Restocking Kroger

Kroger’s new initiatives seek to utilize the giant retailer’s extensive database to increase sales. David Merrefield profiles the executives heading up the effort.

Taste Test

In this era of label transparency, forward-thinking manufacturers are changing ingredients for their processed foods. Dr. Kantha Shelke discusses recipe options.

Private Label Stars

Omnichannel marketing has hit a threshold, and several companies are leading the way ‑ like Walmart’s Jet.com. Christopher Durham explains how store brands play a key role.