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COVER STORY

JAMES BUTCHER, CEO, Solutions for Retail Brands COVID-19 has put health at the center of people’s lives, and this has impacted how they shop, eat and cook. Therefore, successful store brands will need to continue to react to this demand. Importantly, not just with specialist organic or free-from ranges, but everyday products which are healthier but remain accessible and cost effective to consumers. The economic impact of 2020 is unavoidable and therefore value will be a key battleground in 2021, no more so than in store brands. But successful store brands will resist the proverbial race to the bottom. After a pause in 2020, several retailers have confirmed they are resuming or increasing new product development and the focus should be value and consistent quality at an affordable price. For example, recent research by Cleveland Research confirmed the most important things to increase food convenience sales was quality (ahead of price and choice). Therefore, store brand teams will need to focus not only on the speed of development but how they engage suppliers to ensure consistent quality after launch. So that customers who try new store brand products return for more. To achieve cost reductions without compromise to quality, there will be an inevitable continued reduction in choice. Range rationalization will be used to support price, and this will mean store brand teams will need to be more agile in their response to opportunities and competition. It is inevitable that 2021 will see continued investment in collaborative tools for private brands.

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Store Store Brands Brands ● February ● February 20212021 ● www.storebrands.com ● www.storebrands.com

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