private brand

Are Consumer Brands Losing Their Mojo to Store Brands?

Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 2, 2012 11:17 AM

Makers of name brand products beware: Store brands continue to be accepted and embraced by consumers.

Last July, we reported on a study by Accenture indicating that 64 percent of shoppers' grocery carts were at least half full of store brand products -- and 39 percent said they had bought more store brands in recent years.

Now a new study by marketing agency The Integer Group, in association with the market research firm M/A/R/C Research, shows that consumers increasingly believe store brands can match brand names in quality. In fact, in the 2012 study, 64 percent of shoppers said brand names are not better quality products, versus 57 percent in 2010. Only 51 percent of shoppers say they continue to buy brand name products over store-brand alternatives because they trust the brand name, according to the study. Only 20 percent of shoppers agree that they go right for their brand name choice and get what they want.

Just as important, there seems to be a broad change in the perception of store brand or private label products. As store brands have grown in popularity, groceries and retail chains have created their own branded lines. Target, for example, sells its own Archer Farms brand, and Whole Foods pitches its 365 Everyday Value line.

In recent years, such retailers have paid more attention to packaging so their products can be competitive on store shelves. It must be paying off. Only a year ago, 68 percent of shoppers agreed that brand name packaging was more attractive than store brand packaging, according to the study. This year, the percentage dropped to just over half — 52 percent of shoppers.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Amazon, Citi, Chanel and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 26, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

Amazon swings to loss on aggressive spending on future growth, worries about Apple's iPad mini, while Apple disses Microsoft Surface tablet.

BBC sees dimensions of Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal grow.

Bank of America still dealing with fallout from collapse of Countrywide.

Chanel benefits from buzz created by Brad Pitt campaign.

Cheesecake Factory bucks casual-dining traffic decline.

Chipotle considers once-forbidden veer toward fast-food platform.

Citigroup CEO exit reportedly was planned for months.Continue reading...

chew on this

Organic Brands Caught In Fight Over California's Prop 37 GMO Debate

Posted by Dale Buss on September 17, 2012 01:11 PM

The vast majority of American consumers don't care whether their foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Food executives and think tanks will tell you that and cite, for example, how Indiana local bakery Aunt Nellie's bombed when it introduced a specifically labeled "non-GMO" bread a couple of years ago.

But California isn't most of America, with a more health-conscious outlook than most states. That's why mainstream food companies are in a hot and heavy contest against GMO opponents over Proposition 37, The Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, a piece of state legislation that, if passed in November, would require GMO-containing products to disclose that on labels, and make California the first state to mandate genetically modified food.

Similar to what happened to automakers after California took an extreme position on cutting emissions, essentially imposing that higher standard on cars sold all over the country, food and beverage companies are concerned that California will serve as a bellwether in GMO labeling regulation as well.

In a particular bind in this fight are the many mainstream food conglomerates that now own organic brands, which by definition don't include GMOs: Kellogg, owner of GMO poster brand Kashi; General Mills, owner of the Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen, Larabar and Food Should Taste Good brands; Coca-Cola, owner of Odwalla and Honest Tea; PepsiCo; and Dean Foods, owner of Horizon Organics.Continue reading...


Kids Heading Back To School, But Parents Aren't Outfitting Them As Expected

Posted by Dale Buss on August 28, 2012 11:28 AM

Back-to-school season may not be what it used to be. Under the "new normal" that is the American consumer economy these days, many children, teenagers and their parents appear to be delaying their school-related purchases this season, according to the New York Times. Thus, the full swing of this year's back-to-school shopping blowout may amount to less than has traditionally been the case.

Some of the delay is because kids and parents are holding back to make sure they buy the stuff that's truly on trend, the newspaper says. And unusually hot weather has left some consumers decidedly not in the mood to shop for pants with legs and shirts with sleeves. Another factor is that households don't have to head into stores as early because they research more of their purchases online beforehand and, aware of retailers' strategies, hold out until later in the season when bargains are better.

The back-to-school season is the second-largest sales period for U.S. retailers, after the Christmas holidays. Continue reading...

divide and conquer

How to Grow a Brand? Spin It Off

Posted by Barry Silverstein on August 16, 2012 11:09 AM

Look at the current M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions) scene in U.S. business and you'll see signals, especially in the food industry, that big conglomerates are falling out of favor: 

  • In June, Sara Lee jettisoned its famous name, splitting the company into two units: Hillshire Brands, focusing on mostly meat products, and D.E. Master Blenders 1753, a European maker of coffees and teas. 
  • Last week, the country's largest dairy company, Dean Foods, said its Whitewave unit, which accounts for about 40 percent of Dean's operating income, would split from the company and file an IPO. Whitewave produces Horizon Organic milk and the Silk brand, which includes soy and almond milk, products that have been growing faster than Dean's regional milk brands.
  • In October, the giant Kraft Foods will split the company in two, separating its U.S. business (Kraft Foods Group) from its international snack foods business (Mondelez International). 

Corporate breakups are on the rise, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, which reports that there were 19 U.S. corporate public company spinoffs in 2011 vs. 16 in 2010. Eleven spinoffs have already been finalized in 2012 and thirteen more have been announced. Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AT&T, Samsung, Standard Chartered and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 8, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

American Airlines faces record safety penalty, tests hotel baggage delivery service.

Amazon sees pay-off from locker service, looks to acquire more patents.

Apple shelves "Genius" TV campaign, puts former designer on the stand against Samsung and plans to beef up security.

AT&T sees 20,000 employees go on strike.

Bank of America brings discounts to bank statements.

Chiquita seeks new CEO as Undercover Boss star exits.

Chrysler’s Dodge pulls out of NASCAR.Continue reading...

chew on this

Happy Family Expands Organic Superfoods Range for Kids

Posted by Dale Buss on July 9, 2012 01:27 PM

It's hard to resist a brand that has the word "happy" in it. And so Happy Family, a leading organic brand of "superfoods," has earned the title of "Rockstar of the New Economy" from Fast Company magazine and B Lab, a nonprofit that promotes social and environmental responsibility by companies.

There was a lot more that earned the designation for Happy Family, which already was named Inc. magazine's fastest-growing packaged-food company of 2011. In five years, the New York-based company has skyrocketed to $35 million in sales from practically nothing, and CEO Shazi Visram is looking at doubling revenues for the second year in a row in 2012.

Happy Family boasts a big range of products aimed right at the worry spot for American moms: how to get their young children to want to eat healthy snacks. The company's product line ranges from pouches of fruit puree for babies to organic grain-snack "puffs" for toddlers to frozen mac-and-cheese balls and Salmon Stix for grade-schoolers. It's planning an additional 10 new products before the end of the year.Continue reading...

response mechanism

Android Tops LGBT-Favored Brands in U.S.

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 21, 2012 02:02 PM

Google’s Android mobile operating system is #1 on the top 20 brands favored by the LGBT community, according to the researchers at YouGov BrandIndex. Last year, Google's YouTube topped the annual LGBT ranking.

The 2012 LGBT buzz list includes four Apple-related and several other tech and social media brands, and looks quite different from last year’s ranking, with 12 new brands making the top 20: Android, iPad, Target, Samsung, Aleve, Kindle, Advil, PBS, LG, Starbucks, Comedy Central, and Skype. Disneyland and Disney World share fourth spot, reflect the parks' annual LGBT days and outreach to the gay community.

“Gay consumers number 15 million and counting, spending $743 billion annually” in the U.S., according to LGBT marketing agency Prime Access. Falling out of the top 20 this year: Google, Amazon, Whole Foods, Claritin, HBO, Lowe's, Cheerios, Food Network, M&Ms, Nike, Trader Joe's and Bose.Continue reading...

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