The Heat Is On

New retail launches keep the private label industry hot.
Greg Sleter
Associate Publisher/Executive Editor
Greg Sleter headshot
Greg Sleter
Greg Sleter, Executive Editor/Associate Editor

How’s your summer going?

For much of the continental United States, the thermostat has been turned up as the usual seasonal heat in the southwest and southeast has been hotter than we’ve seen, well, maybe ever.

Also hotter than ever is the private label industry. Recent statistics from the Private Label Manufacturers Association show additional gains in sales and unit share as shoppers continue filling their baskets and shopping carts with a host of store brand products.

The choices for consumers are continuing to grow. Several leading retailers over the past few months have rolled out new private brand assortments, all with the goal of giving their shoppers more choices at a better value.

In late July, Dollar General said it was putting “food first” with the addition of more than 100 products to its Clover Valley brand. The new items include a selection of sauces, condiments, entrees, sides and snacks at affordable prices. The new products are part of the retailer’s strategy to provide its customers with healthier options that include more food products and fresh food.

A few weeks before the Dollar General announcement, Southeastern Grocers aggressively upped its private label assortment with the launch of its Know & Love line of “clean products.” The initial selection includes food and beverage products along with household items made free of nearly 100 ingredients, such as certified color additives, partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sucralose.

“Know & Love was born out of our desire to offer our customers clean products, with quality ingredients for a great price,” Brooke Rice, SEG’s director of Own Brands told Store Brands. Our goal was to create a brand that could be as simple, yet as bold as the ingredients within.”

Additionally, retailers including CVS, Macy’s, At Home and Crate & Barrel are among those who made significant additions to their respective private brand assortments in recent weeks. I also encourage you to read our special report in this issue focused on the growth of private brands in the convenience store sector.

While economic conditions were largely responsible for consumers shifting to private brand products, retailers have taken this opportunity to further build loyalty with their shoppers. They have filled the product development pipeline with a host of unique items that meet specific shopper needs.

Things are hot in the world of private brands. Let’s keep throwing logs on the fire.

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