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THE PULSE OF PRIVATE LABEL

DECEMBER 2021

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CREATIVE CAMPAIGNS P. 18

TARGET

It’s owned brands vision is fully realized, witnessing 10 billion-dollar store brands drive a record-breaking sales year.

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VOLUME 44 NO.8

COVER STORY:

Target is the Retailer of the Year for 2021

26 Product Showcase: A list of 25 new and best-selling products available for private label development

Creative Campaigns

18 Creative Campaigns A recognition of some of the most innovative marketing efforts to support own brands this year

32 Sweets Report:

A worrisome pandemic is also a time to indulge on ice cream and sweet snacks

06

Editor’s Note

08

Industry News

12

Questions/Answers

34

Store Brands in the Wild

Store Brands (ISSN-0190-9851; USPS # 0488-370) is published monthly, except January, May, July, December by EnsembleIQ, 8550 W. Bryn Mawr, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631. Subscriptions: One year, $100; two years, $182. One year, Canada $118; two years, $215 One year, foreign $135; two years, $225. One year, digital $70; two year, $130.Single copies $14 US, Canada & foreign $16. Payable in advance with a bank draft drawn on a US bank in US funds.Single copies $20. Foreign, $85. Reprints, permissions and licensing, please contact Wright’s Media at ensembleiq@wrightsmedia.com or (877) 652-5295. Canada Post: Canada returns to be sent to IDS, P.O. Box 456, Niagara Falls, ON, L2E6V2. Periodicals postage rates paid at Chicago, IL and additional mailing offices. Printed in USA. POSTMASTER: send all address changes to Store Brands PO Box 3200 Northbrook, IL 60065-3200. Copyright 2020 by EnsembleIQ. All rights reserved, including the rights to reproduce in whole or in part. All letters to the editors of this magazine will be treated as having been submitted for publication. The magazine reserves the right to edit and abridge them. The publication is available in microform from University Microfilms International, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI, 48106. The contents of this publication can not be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for claims and representations. 4

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December 2021

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• Full range of ultra, premium, FSC® Certified, recycled, and traditional paper grades • Paper towels, bath tissue, napkins, and facial tissues • Flexible, custom manufacturing, packaging, and display units

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CHEERS, FROM STORE BRANDS! WISHING EVERYONE A HAPPY HOLIDAYS, BETTER NEW YEAR AND AN ALDI ADVENT CALENDAR Dec. 1 is a special day in the private label universe and my home, because on that day we begin our Aldi advent calendars! Even before I became an editor at Store Brands magazine, my mother-in-law would set an alarm and sprint to get her position in line for Aldi-advent-calendar-release day, purchasing a bevy of calendars at a location in East Peoria, Ill., for myself, my wife and my son. She also gets me some from Costco. (Hey, I’m a kid at heart, who likes beer, wine, cheese and chocolate calendars.) This year, she went again and stood in a long line prior to the doors opening. I share this story because I find it fun, a break from the news we write daily, but also to say that loyalty for retailers is real. That’s a very obvious statement coming from a trade journalist in the retail space; one who is often given numbers to back that up, sales data, social impressions, yearover-year gains of some sort. But, I think an anecdote like mine can be just as powerful, because I witness it in my daily life. I see it and feel it. My mother-in-law wouldn’t wait in line if she didn’t think it was worth it and if she didn’t truly believe in that store. To her, she can depend on that local Aldi to have the calendars she needs every year, along with chocolates for stockings or a cheese ball for entertaining. And this is important, she wants to spread joy for the holidays and that loyalty is vital to her, it’s a trust that she’ll enjoy another holiday season. And on that, I wanted to wish all of the readers and the entire private label universe a happy and healthy holidays, too. Everyone on this staff truly appreciates your partnership and we hope to continue to build that partnership together. On Jan. 19, 2022, we have a new Store Brands Industry Forum, dedicated to trends in nonfood innovation, and five more in the year ahead. We hope you can be part of them. We also hope to see you at live in-person events, and hope you continue to read our daily newsletter and the pages of this sought-after paper. At this magazine, we strive to provide something someone would want to stand in line for before the doors open, provide coverage of the industry the right way, and share the best possible content on private label to help you and your business. So let’s celebrate private label calendar day together, from wherever you get your calendars, or however you celebrate the holidays, and however you celebrate the New Year ahead. For me, I simply say, “Cheers, from Store Brands!” And let’s have a strong, healthy and happy 2022.

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An EnsembleIQ Publication 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631 Publisher, Grocery Group John Schrei (248) 613-8672; jschrei@ensembleiq.com

EDITORIAL Editorial Director, Grocery Group Mike Troy (813) 857-6512; mtroy@ensembleiq.com Executive Editor Dan Ochwat (773) 992-4416, dochwat@ensembleiq.com Associate Editor Zachary Russell (313) 622-1565, zrussell@ensembleiq.com

ADVERTISING & SALES National Sales Manager Natalie Filtser (917) 690-3245, nfiltser@ensembleiq.com

PROJECT MANAGEMENT/PRODUCTION/ART Creative Director Colette Magliaro cmagliaro@ensembleiq.com Advertising/Production Manager Pat Wisser (973) 607-1322, pwisser@ensembleiq.com

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SUBSCRIBER SERVICES/ SINGLE-COPY PURCHASES contact@storebrands.com TOLL-FREE: 1-877-687-7321 FAX: 1-888-520-3608

REPRINTS, PERMISSIONS AND LICENSING Please contact Wright’s Media at ensembleiq@wrightsmedia.com or (877)652-5295

CORPORATE OFFICERS Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Litterick Chief Financial Officer Jane Volland Chief Innovation Officer & Managing Director of Path to Purchase Institute Tanner Van Dusen Chief Human Resources Officer Ann Jadown EVP of Operations Derek Esty Senior Vice President, Content Joe Territo

The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for product claims and representations.

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HIGHER MARGINS FOR YOU, BETTER VALUE FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS To meet the growing demand for low-cost, high-quality items, Consumer Value Products (CVP) offers premium private label products that drive proven results with educated consumers and value shoppers alike. CVP researches, develops, and distributes a wide range of products in categories such as health and beauty, grocery, general merchandise, candy, snacks, pet products, and automotive. Our brands rival or surpass the quality of name brand alternatives. To find out how CVP can help increase your profits, visit cvpproducts.com/info

© 2021 Consumer Value Products, Inc., subsidiary of McLane Company, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Reddy Gets Own Store

Petco’s flagship store brand is getting a flagship store. Reddy, introduced in 2018 as a premium private label focused on high quality, functional and sustainable products, has opened up as a boutique in New York City. The Reddy Soho store is fully dedicated to its own brand, featuring curated Reddy merchandise and exclusive petcentric experiences. Petco, based in San Diego, said Reddy Soho is an urban basecamp for pets and pet parents. The store honors the

private brand’s trademark colors and look, and the store will be home to a broad assortment of apparel, collars, leashes, harnesses, beds, bowls, feeders and travel accessories. The store itself is designed as an edgy boutique with a highly interactive experience to further connect the own brand with its shoppers. The boutique’s features include: • A lounge with free Wi-Fi and, in the coming months, an adventure concierge to plan pet adventures and share a calendar of recommended monthly activities around the city; • A fitting station for finding the perfect look and fit for the pet as well as custom services like personalized pet tags and on-site product monogramming; • Exclusive, complimentary amenities for pets, including sanitary water stations, a “treatery” and whipped cream cups for pups; • A JustFoodForDogs fresh nutrition station offering a range of high-quality dog foods and treats formulated to meet specific, critical nutritional needs, as well as a variety of supplements to help boost pets’ health; and • Instagram-ready walls, a “Bark Board” for community updates and a pet polaroid wall showcasing pet visitors to the store. “Reddy’s growth and popularity among active and trendforward pet parents has been steady since launch,” said Nick Konat, Petco’s chief merchandising officer. “And it’s only accelerated over the last 18-plus months as millions of pet parents are exploring outdoor activities and taking their pets with them wherever they go. This first-of-its-kind boutique will continue fueling that exploration by giving New York City pet parents a hub to bond, recharge and find the latest must-have gear to style their best lives together.”

Publix Had a Store Made of Gingerbread Publix put a new spin on a classic holiday treat. The chain released a limited-edition gingerbread kit for shoppers to build and decorate their own edible gingerbread Publix grocery store. "We know our fans love checking out the newest Publix locations," said the company. “So we’re excited to share the sweetest and smallest one of all: the Publix Super Markets Gingerbread Store. Just in time for the holiday season, this fun-to-decorate kit is now available in stores. 8

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It has everything you need to combine your love of Publix with the classic tradition of building gingerbread houses with loved ones.” The limited item included: pre-baked and notched gingerbread; white, red, green and black icing to assemble and decorate; miniature shopping carts; swirly twirly peppermint candy trees; holly jolly holly and berries; assorted candy lights; assorted gumdrops; and red and green jelly rings.

www.storebrands.com

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H-E-B Unveils Field & Future

H-E-B has introduced — and is expanding — a line of eco-friendly own brand household and personal care products called Field & Future. Some items like toothpaste and sponges under the brand were on shelves over the summer but H-E-B officially announced the launch of the new store brand to coincide with Texas Recycles Day and America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, where the San Antonio-based retailer partnered with

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the program Keep Texas Beautiful to help bring recycling access to more communities throughout Texas. Additional products have hit shelves as well. Designed with the environment in mind, H-E-B’s private brand Field & Future includes sponges, toothpaste, baby wipes, dish detergent and more featuring hypoallergenic formulas, biodegradable ingredients and recyclable packaging. The Field & Future lineup currently has more than two dozen products on-shelf, including trash bags and recycling bags, which are made from 65% and 30% postconsumer recycled plastic from H-E-B facilities, respectively. With input from H-E-B Partners and customers, the retailer created Field & Future by H-E-B to offer products that are kind to the consumer, kind to animals, and kind to Texas, the retailer said.

www.storebrands.com

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Tesco Launches Eco-friendly Private Brand Refills

U.K.-based supermarket chain Tesco has launched a new private label collection aimed at reducing the use of plastic. The company has released new dissolvable refills for its own brand cleaning sprays. The capsules are mixed with tap water and create a new bottle of cleaning solution. Tesco says the refills could help save up to 60 million pieces of plastic per year.

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The six new refills are for the following Tesco brand cleaning products: Anti-Bac MultiPurpose Surface Cleanser Original, Anti-Bac Multi-Purpose Surface Cleanser Apple, AntiBac Kitchen Surface cleaner, Anti-Bac Bathroom Surface cleaner, Daily Shower cleaner and Window & Glass cleaner. “Shoppers looking for more sustainable ways to shop can refill existing sprays with concentrates that also offer a cheaper alternative to repurchasing a conventional spray bottle,” said Tesco. “Cleaning sprays are made of a couple of plastic components — the spray and the bottle. If Tesco shoppers moved to using the new Tesco concentrated solutions rather than other own brand or branded products, over 60 million pieces of plastic will be removed from sale each year.” The new product line is part of Tesco’s ‘4Rs’ strategy- to “remove packaging where they can, reduce it where they can’t, reuse more and recycle what's left.”

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QUESTIONS/ANSWERS

PRIVATE BRANDS FALL BEHIND NATIONALS

I

n April of this year, Susan Dunn took on the role of chief revenue officer, NielsenIQ, having spent nearly 30 years with the organization in various leadership roles and involved in consumer goods. Dunn said she’s seen just about every trend, market shift and macroeconomic impact possible over that time. She sat down with Store Brands to discuss private brands in a currently wild economic climate.

STORE BRANDS: HOW DOES THIS YEAR'S RETAIL LANDSCAPE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON COMPARE WITH YEARS PAST? SUSAN DUNN: This year is all about two things — price and on-shelf availability. Last year we saw the impact of nesting behavior manifest at the shelf during the holiday season, with total store sales up 8%. For instance, total sales of flour during the holiday season in 2020 posted 9% growth vs. 3% the prior year. Private label vegetables and cheese also spiked, indicating that consumers were preparing more food at home amid ongoing restrictions. This year, we anticipate sales gravitating toward those categories with the most consistent on-shelf availability. Price will also be a concern for consumers as inflationary pressures continue, and that's where private labels and store brands can make an impact. But finding the balance between which private label items can stay on the shelf and offering them at a price that makes them attractive to consumers compared to branded items will be crucial. SB: What are the biggest concerns and how does that 12

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impact store brands specifically? SD: Store brands are not immune to supply chain and availability challenges. In fact, we have data available for the most recent period (October 2021) that shows private label items fared worse than branded items in terms of on-shelf availability across most categories. Exceptions to that availability trend include categories where store brands have consistently been more available than branded items all year, including cookie mix, soap, toothpaste, fabric softener and laundry detergent. SB: How can retailers improve? SD: Unfortunately, many supply chain issues are outside retailers' control, so preventing private label out-of-stocks completely is probably impossible. Instead, their strategy should focus on curating their assortment and leverage store brands to offset out-of-stock national brands. Leaning into those categories where they can consistently keep their private label items in stock and avoiding or temporarily delisting their store brands in those categories where they can't will help retailers optimize their assortments.

SB: Does the supply and demand challenges this holiday season benefit retailers and a focus on store brands in any way? SD: In some ways, yes. Retailers have an opportunity to meet the needs of a less price-sensitive consumer looking to have an in-home vs. out-of-home food experience by offering more premium store brand options. By the same token, retailers can position their store brands in a way that provides value to income-constrained consumers most affected by energy and food inflation. The flexible nature of store brands — and the control retailers can exert over them in terms of pricing and packaging — makes them an ideal vehicle for meeting the varied needs of consumer groups in a shifting environment. SB: Can you share any sales numbers on how store brands are selling vs. national brands leading into the holiday season? SD: Year to date across total U.S. xAOC, private label sales are $132.5 billion, compared to $573.26 billion for national brands during the same period. Private label share YTD is 18.8%, slightly behind 2020 levels of 19.2%. Growth has slowed for both private label and branded items in 2021, but national brand growth is outpacing private label (1.9% versus -0.7%, respectively). Individual private label category performance reflects this relatively slow overall growth, with half of the top 20 categories growing and half declining. The salads and water private label categories are growing fastest on a dollar sales basis, at 17.4% and 8.3% respectively. In an inflationary environment, store brands can expect an additional boost since they're likely to be the lowest-priced item on the shelf. In categories where the average customer is particularly price-sensitive, this effect can be multiplied. Expect private label sales to have a good holiday season this year. SB

www.storebrands.com

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LA DORIA TOUTS LEGUMES La Doria, based in Campania, Italy, is a leading European producer of canned vegetables and tomatobased products at retail. The producer has expertise in pasta sauces in private label and is a main producer of fruit juices and beverages. Legumes has been a proud part of the business for more than 60 years. Diodato Ferraioli, head of export sales at La Doria S.p.A., discusses the thriving category.

Store Brands: Describe the company’s legumes business, what’s featured? Diodato Ferraioli: La Doria is an Italian food & beverage group and the leading European producer of canned pulses in the retail sector. For over 60 years we have monitored every step of the journey our pulses take from the field to the table. We choose the best areas to grow them, support and train the farmers who share our values, and carry out rigorous checks at every stage of the production chain to guarantee the traceability of our products. SB: What are the more popular items in the legumes segment and why? DF: In general, red kidney and chickpeas are the bestsellers and have experienced a continuous growth especially abroad. It shall be noted that the entire category has benefitted from the rise in vegan/flexitarian diets. In relation to the U.K. (our main export market), baked beans are the best performing item, experiencing growth in the year 2020 with an increase in volumes of 9.3%, with values up 16.3%. In terms of consumption, the outbreak of the virus led to significantly higher demand. In the year 2020, the Italian processed vegetables market grew significantly both in volume terms (+10.4%) and value terms (+10.5%), after substantial stability in 2019. SB: Are there any interesting consumer-eating trends driving the category? DF: The company invests heavily in research and development to keep up with retailers’ needs and market trends. There are some trends to be noted in the last years, from clean label ingredients to ethical and responsible ingredient sourcing. Over the last few years, La Doria has seen an increase in demand for healthy organic products, ranging from low-salt and low-sugar items to formulations free from

allergens and suited to vegans. In 2020, 124 innovation projects were launched, involving all product lines, including pulses. New product development projects involved modifying and improving the quality of the existing recipes, pitching existing recipes to new clients and also a significant focus of activities was also dedicated to product innovations viewed as the use of innovative, new ingredients and packaging. A very important role is also played by the organization of production processes and facilities in order to guarantee the mitigation of environmental impacts. SB: How can retailers leverage legumes to make their private label programs stand out? DF: Among all retailers aiming to offer increasingly quality products, we are witnessing a growing interest in the ranges of premium and super premium “Authentically Italian” — also in the private label segment. To achieve this goal it is essential to select the right partners, able to guarantee the certified quality of their products and of the entire production process. By matching these expectations, the supplier becomes a real partner with whom establish long-lasting relationships of trust and collaboration and work together to make high quality products at an affordable price. This is La Doria’s business model, and through this synergy, we are able to create long-term relationships that help achieving high levels of economic efficiency while offering an increasingly complete service, oriented not only to production but also to product innovation. SB LA DORIA S.p.A. Via Nazionale, 320 - 84012 Angri (SA) – Campania - Italy+39.081.5166111 www.gruppoladoria.it commerciale.estero@gruppoladoria.it

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COVER STORY

BY DA N OC HWAT

It’s owned brands vision is fully realized, witnessing 10 billion-dollar store brands drive a record-breaking sales year.

TARGET RECORD-BREAKING SALES GROWTH

upon record-breaking sales growth: that’s how Target’s described the last two years, with owned brands playing a significant part. In fact, in the second quarter of 2021, sales of the retailer’s private brands outpaced all company growth, seeing a year-over-year sales lift in the “mid-teens.” In Q2 this year, Target’s total sales were up more than 30% or $6.6 billion on a two-year stacked basis. The retailer said in March, regarding its Q4 2020 financial results ending Jan. 30, 2021 that owned brands represented a third of its sales, with four brands eclipsing $2 billion in sales (Cat & Jack, Up & Up, Threshold and Good & Gather). In its most recent quarterly report, released late November, Target reported that all five of its core merchandising

Christina Hennington, executive vice president, chief growth officer

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Jill Sando,

executive vice president, chief merchandising officer

categories increased sales in the low to midteens. “Following comp growth of nearly 21% a year ago, our third quarter comp increase of 12.7% was driven entirely by traffic, and reflects continued strength in our store sales, same-day digital fulfillment services and double-digit growth in all five of our core merchandising categories,” said Brian Cornell, Target’s CEO during the financial call. However, winning Store Brand’s 2021 “Retailer of the Year” designation isn’t just about sales — it’s also the Minneapolis mass merchant’s ambitious approach to sustainability, it’s Target’s “walk the walk” delivery on diversity, and it’s the chain’s fully realized vision of an innovative, powerhouse owned brand strategy that’s been five years in the making.

Rick Gomez,

executive vice president, chief food and beverage officer

Julie Guggemos, senior vice president, chief design officer, owned brand product design and management

Store StoreBrands Brands● ●December December2021 2021● ●www.storebrands.com www.storebrands.com

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COVER STORY

BILLION-DOLLAR VISION Following several interviews with the chain to discuss the Retailer of the Year honor, Target told Store Brands that in 2016, the retailer set out to reimagine its owned brand portfolio, putting in motion a new strategy of uniquely designed brands, driven by guest insights. In those five years, more than 30 store brands launched, and 10 of them surpassed $1 billion in sales. To date, Target manages more than 45 owned brands, with more to come. Some hallmark moments: • A New Day, launched in 2017, the brand reached $1 billion in sales by its first anniversary; • Cat & Jack, launched in 2016, surpassed $2 billion in 2017; • Good & Gather, launched in 2019, the food line made its first billion in 2020; • And in February, All in Motion, Target’s new activewear line reached $1 billion in sales, making it the 10th owned brand to do so. The chain developed a new vision for its owned brands five years ago that blended art and science, listening closely to its guests for insights and empowering its design team of artists. “When we set out to create new brands or design products within existing brands, it always starts with our guests.

Our talented design team creates products with — and for — our guests with a keen eye on exceptional design at an incredible value,” Julie Guggemos, SVP, chief design officer, owned brand product design and management, told Store Brands. “They all play a distinct role in our total portfolio, anchoring intently to our unique guests’ needs and values like inclusivity, sustainability, quality and incredible value for all.” Target’s design team is full of artists; in fact, there’s a painting studio at Target headquarters, where they’ve created roughly 10,000 unique pieces of art, some of which used on exclusive and store brand items. Target researches its guests in several ways, and leverages a virtual tool called Guest Studio where the team continually shares work for direct feedback in real time. Christina Hennington, EVP and chief growth officer, told Store Brands. “The strength of Target’s business is a testament to our differentiated strategy, durable business model and incredible team. Our guests have always been at the heart of what we do, and our team’s ability to listen, learn, co-create and care for our guests is what makes Target a beloved brand and destination. This comes to life across our business, and it’s what sets our portfolio of owned brands apart.”

www.storebrands.com

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COVER STORY

TARGET Forward Goals •

By 2030, Target aims to be the market leader for creating and curating inclusive, sustainable brands and experiences;

By 2040, Target plans for 100% of its owned brand products to be designed for a circular future;

By 2040, Target commits to being a net zero enterprise — zero waste to landfill in its U.S. operations and net zero emissions across both its operations and supply chain, inclusive of scopes 1, 2 and 3;

By 2030, Target aims to build a team that equitably reflects the communities it serves, beginning with its commitment to increase Black team member representation across the company by 20% by 2023;

Target and the Target Foundation will become even more deeply ingrained within communities, lifting up the voices and unique perspectives of community members to maximize the positive impact they can create together.

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TOTAL STORE OFFERING In 2021, Target’s owned brands continued to push boundaries, entering new categories like pet food and pet products through the Kindfull brand, entering crafts with Mondo Llama, revamping a dessert category via the new brand Favorite Day, and enhancing an established brand like Good & Gather by adding to its premium Good & Gather Signature rollout and debuting Good & Gather Plant Based. “Owned brands like Good & Gather and Favorite Day play a critical role in Target’s food and beverage business,” Rick Gomez, EVP, chief food and beverage officer, told Store Brands. “Rooted in guest research and developed by our talented Target team — from the tasty, quality food items to the beautiful packaging — these owned brands are driving preference for Target by offering convenient, delicious and affordable options for all of our guests’ mealtime and snack needs.” Gomez remarks on the guest research again, something Target uses for all of the owned brands it develops — food to home goods. One example in home, in 2016, the retailer learned that its shoppers enjoyed the classic look of the Threshold line but craved more options. Over the next two years, the design team focused on more stylish, affordable products, creating Project 62 (a modern approach), Hearth & Hand with Magnolia (farmhouse-chic), Made By Design (everyday items), and Opalhouse (a more eclectic feel). The latter is also an example of where Target stepped up its store brands to deliver on its promise of working with more Black-owned businesses. Similar to how it has partnered with Chip and Joanna Gaines for the Hearth & Hand line, Target began working with Justina Blakeney, an influencer and style expert behind Jungalow, which received an Opalhouse offshoot that will see annual, seasonal collections. Target also continued its diverse partnerships via Hilton Carter, an influencer and plant lover that earned a limited-time-only run of exclusive items, and artist Christian Robinson, who introduced a limited-time run of products under the kids’ Pillowfort line. As part of its supplier diversity program, Target is working with a growing roster that are at least 51% owned, controlled and operated by women, Black, Indigenous and People of Color, LGBTQ+, veterans or persons with disabilities.

www.storebrands.com

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COVER STORY

FROM FOSTERING AN EQUITABLE, SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN TO DESIGNING AND ELEVATING SUSTAINABLE BRANDS, OUR [TARGET FORWARD] COMMITMENT WILL TAKE OUR OWNED BRAND PORTFOLIO TO THE NEXT LEVEL AND FUEL CONTINUED GROWTH. — Christina Hennington

As part of the company’s Racial Equity Action and Change committee, Target has committed to spending more than $2 billion with Black-owned businesses (many of which will be exclusive to the retailer) by 2025. Inclusivity has been a staple of the All in Motion own brand, in sizing of the product and how ethnicities and people with disabilities are featured within the marketing. Sensory-adaptive clothing and costumes for Halloween have long been part of the company’s offerings, too. “We know that quality, stylish and inclusive design makes a huge difference in our guests’ lives, and at Target, we believe everyone deserves to feel celebrated and included,” Guggemos said. “From adaptive apparel and inclusive sizing, to partnering with more diverse designers and creators, the Target team designs every product with the goal of taking the unexpected and making it extraordinary — for everyone.” The retailer doesn’t just say it’s going to represent more voices, it’s doing the work — and through its store brands. In total, Target wouldn’t share how many suppliers it works with within its private brands but said suppliers play an integral part in how they innovate. The retailer said it looks for suppliers that bring ideas to the table as a way to maintain the style and feel that guests have come to expect. Like all retailers, the peak pandemic period pressured Target and their suppliers to keep shelves stocked across the store, and they’re still working together against new challenges. “During a time that has had a profound impact on our guests and communities, the Target team has remained agile and thoughtfully curated a magical mix of products to meet their needs but also brought them joy when they need it most,” Jill Sando, EVP, chief merchandising officer, told Store Brands. She added: “From the strategic partnerships we create, to the beloved national and DTC brands we bring to our assortment, our owned brands play a key role in continuing

to differentiate Target. Our portfolio of owned brands brings something special to every category, driving traffic and excitement with the incredible design and value found exclusively at Target.”

A CIRCULAR FUTURE The last major pillar of why Target has emerged as the 2021 Retailer of the Year is its commitment to using owned brands to drive a sustainable supply chain and eco-friendly future. In June, the retailer rolled out Target Forward, a broad sustainability pledge that includes a call to have 100% of its store brand products be designed for a circular future within the next two decades — eliminating waste, leveraging regenerative and recycled materials, sourcing responsibly, and creating products that are durable that can be easily repaired or recycled. “This sustainability strategy reaches every corner of our business and sets our aim to be a market leader in creating and curating inclusive sustainable brands and experiences by 2030 and a net zero enterprise by 2040,” said Hennington. “From fostering an equitable, sustainable supply chain to designing and elevating sustainable brands, our commitment will take our owned brand portfolio to the next level and fuel continued growth.” Through its store brands, Target will strive to design owned brand items that meet what its shoppers are looking for but also to reach a circular future, eliminating waste, sourcing sustainably and more. Just as it has elevated owned brands, the next chapter will include elevating sustainable brands. SB www.storebrands.com

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Creative Campaigns I N N O VAT I O N I N P R I VAT E B R A N D MARKETING

LEADING STORE BRAND EFFORTS INTEGRATED CAMPAIGNS, VIDEO, SOCIAL, IN-STORE, RETAILERS RALLIED BEHIND OWN BRANDS By Dan Ochwat

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s private brands continue to grow in quality and status — becoming equal to or better than the national brand equivalent, as the saying goes — so is their marketing. Retailers are putting out campaigns that are equal to or better than the national brand equivalent. To honor this notion, Store Brands wanted to shine a light on some of the top-shelf creative campaigns run by retailers in support of their own brands this year. We are introducing our first-ever Creative Campaigns recognition, aiming to be an annual honor of retailers cleverly supporting their store brand products and moving the industry forward with modern-era marketing approaches. We put out a call for submissions and rounded up some of the most innovative marketing campaigns from retailers. The campaigns leverage all the tools that CPGs 18

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are leveraging today, rolling out fully fledged integrated campaigns, tapping into social media influencers, targeting consumers on digital, running video components, and reaching shoppers inside the store through displays and visual merchandising. Here’s a collection of 2021 Creative Campaigns winners:

Albertsons — “More Than Delicious”

An integrated marketing campaign in support of the grocer’s O Organics brand, the “More Than Delicious” program inspired consumers to try the

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retailer’s organic own brand products by educating them on what organic really means and elevating that perception as seen in delicious meals. The campaign ran from Aug. 25 through Oct. 6, using in-store displays, email, influencer activations and college influencers, social media and digital ads, an associate engagement contest, a Visa partnership promotion, a satellite media tour and an e-commerce landing page. Powerful mealtime photos along with direct copy on what the products stand for carried in-store signage, digital posts and more. The campaign also went across the store, looking to expand basket size by focusing on immunity boosting, back to school, and convenient meal themes across categories; ultimately trading up light organic produce buyers to medium/heavy organic produce buyers. The campaign targeted existing and lapsed Albertsons shoppers focused on cooking from scratch, organic living and convenience seekers who purchased O Organics at least once in the past 52 weeks.

Albertsons — “Go Explore”

With a verve of adventure, Albertsons’ “Go Explore” campaign enticed trial and built excitement around the Open Nature brand. Aisle blades, freezer clings and shovel signs worked alongside displays in-store, while a loyalty rewards overlay, influencer and college influencer activations, social and digital media ads, a media tour, e-commerce landing page, and more, rounded out the integrated marketing campaign. The effort ran from June 30 to July 27 and targeted audiences with an affinity to hike, explore and love the outdoors. It was about building a sense of adventure in cooking from scratch and living healthier through its free from brand Open Nature.

Retailers are putting out campaigns that are equal to or better than the national brand equivalent. The campaign garnered more than 87 million impressions and increased its household reach by 13.26% during the campaign period.

Albertsons — “Sip to the Beat”

One of the more unique activations of the year, Albertsons crafted three Spotify playlists that expressed the Soleil brand’s personality and ushered in summer party music with the likes of Harry Styles and Black Eyed Peas. The music-themed “Sip to the Beat” campaign also included in-store merchandising, special offers on Soleil products for “just for U” members, influencer activations, Tik Tok dance videos, stop-motion digital content on social, and a partnership with six world renowned artists that relaunched 20 package redesigns and four new flavors. The campaign exudes the youthful energy of the brand and aims to expand the Signature Select Soleil brand into a wider audience. Albertsons said the campaign was a huge success, driving hundreds of millions of impressions, acquiring new shoppers and building baskets.

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The “Thankful” campaign’s content tied into Thanksgiving by running in November, but truly stood out through its bold, beautiful graphics and its motion graphics in digital campaign elements. And the pieces clearly caught eyeballs, as Ferguson witnessed its highest customer interaction that year through the voting component and experienced double-digit sales growth in the three months following the campaign.

Natural Grocers — “Spring Scavenger Hunt”

Sending Natural Grocers shoppers on a hunt for store brands turned out to be a great traffic-driver for the organics retailer and a program that engaged its loyalty members. The May 2021 “Spring Scavenger Hunt” leveraged an ongoing direct email marketing campaign, encouraging shoppers to seek out private brand items across five categories and earn a $5 reward automatically loaded to their [N]power account. Social media also promoted the engagement program, ultimately seeing in one month 220,587 customers shop its five Scavenger Hunt categories.

Ferguson — “Thankful”

With more than 1,600 locations, specializing in plumbing and HVAC supplies, the chain also has a range of private brand products, including the professional grade Raptor tool line. Ferguson said the tools are a fan favorite and a popular impulse buy from shoppers visiting the stores. The company wanted to build on that equity and drive a deeper connection with its loyal customers through a campaign that asked customers to vote on the Raptor tool they appreciated most on the jobsite, with each vote giving the customer a chance at winning a tool bag filled with Raptor tools. It’s a simple premise, but the retailer cleverly drove interaction with the campaign through dynamic social media posts, email blasts and an in-store digital signage element. 20

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stores, just look for “Ophelia the Owl,” an adorable character on each package — that also has its own social media profile and a landing page on the retailer’s website. A QR code on packaging directs shoppers to learn more about Ophelia, and the character’s used on in-store signage and outdoor billboards. Joining Ophelia are more than 35 other characters and counting, each a calling card to unique items in its Natural Grocers Brand portfolio. The campaign brilliantly helps shoppers easily spot its own brand products and furthers a connection with them through storytelling and a warm, fun spirit. Other characters include Quigley the Quokka in support of the organic gluten-free pasta

Natural Grocers — “Family of Natural Grocers Brand Animal Characters”

When looking for the Natural Grocers Brand organic kombucha in

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Congratulations

three best Creative Campaigns of Creative Campaigns I N N O VAT I O N I N P R I VAT E B R A N D MARKETING

with E R O L P EX

More than delicious. Always Non-GMO

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varieties; Kara the Koala on glutenfree baking mixes; Bianca the Bear on organic wood-fired pizzas; Enzo the Elephant on bamboo-based paper goods and many more.

Save A Lot — “Like, A Lot A Lot”

Aiming to break out of the “sea of sameness in grocery advertising,” per the Save A Lot team, the retailer’s “Like, A Lot A Lot” campaign certainly does that and more. The cheeky integrated campaign is anchored by a music video and original song titled “Like, A Lot A Lot,” ushering in the company’s brand refresh in a very fresh way. The song, written by Lauren Rodrigue at VIA, creatively brings the hometown shopping experience of Save A Lot to life with hip-hop, rap and pop stylings. It features vocals artists Tamara Bubble, Leon Evans and Sarai – and can be streamed on platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and more. From a store brands perspective, the music video has been adapted into 15- and 6-second animated “adlets” that feature Save A Lot private brand products, that were leveraged across a variety of digital and traditional media platforms. An influencer marketing component, including notable Tik Tok and Instagram personalities, created short videos around the campaign and using the song, and outdoor media ran in two key markets: St. Louis and Tampa. 22

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The company said Save A Lot skews older in terms of its shopper base but the campaign brought a younger energy to hometown grocery shopping. The music video garnered more than 2 million views on Facebook and Instagram, and more than 4 million on YouTube. Through 197 individual influencer posts, Save A Lot received over 50 million paid views and 10 million organic views. Influencer Instagram and Facebook stories resulted in over 15.2 million views, and feed posts on both Instagram and Tik Tok received over 46.7 million views. Paid social ads across YouTube, Facebook and Instagram received over 6.1 million views and over 25.3 million impressions.

Topco — “Crav’n Flavor Everyday”

Following a competitive assessment of the own brand and national

brand food space, Topco saw a need to launch a mouth-watering, foodforward campaign for its “Crav’n” portfolio. The company said competitors such as Target’s Good & Gather, Kroger’s Fresh For Everyone claymation characters and even the famed Keebler Elves have created more playful space but not a “craveful” space. Leaning on sensory photography that gives shoppers a visceral response toward the food, Topco rolled out an overarching Crav’n effort that included a hearty pre-shop and in-home digital media engagement, with e-commerce sites, social media, radio spots and more, as well as major in-store presence via endcaps, aisle blades, shelf talkers, reci-

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of skin tones. Smartly, the company released an integrated campaign that educated consumers on the importance of a personalized care product like the Topcare flesh-tone bandages. The campaign included an image of one bandage showcasing a range of shades and calling out to consumers that there are now “options for your beautiful skin.” The image was carried through into an email blast, digital circular assets, Facebook and Pinterest posts, an Instagram story post, banner ads, print ads, a bag stuffer printed piece, and aisle blades and shelf talkers in-store.

pe cards, electronic shelf tags, floor graphics, freezer clings and more. Content on the signage and in the campaign centered on a irresistible photo of food across dessert, snacks, frozen foods and more, and capped with copy that played off the “’n” of the Crav’n name, such as a picture of a slice of cherry pie with the words “Totally Treat’n”.

Topco — “Tippy Toes Everyday”

Similar to its Crav’n portfolio campaign, Topco launched a broad integrated campaign to support its Tippy Toes baby brand, anchoring digital, in-store and all marketing elements with powerful black and white photography that exudes the joy of parenting, along copy and product images that echo the quality of the product. Aisle signage, adorable floor clings of baby footprints, headers and a strong educational piece for associates about the brand helped further the brand inside stores. Digital banner ads, social ads and posts, a 15-second digital video, and print ads also supported. Topco said the engaging campaign unquestionably increased own brand sales in the baby care segment with strong repeat purchase intent already underway.

Tops Markets — “Food 2 Families/Food for Families”

Topco — “Flesh-Tone Fabric Bandages Launch”

In March, Topco said it became the first store brand to hit the market to provide diverse and inclusive fabric bandages that served a broad range

Annually, Tops Markets drives shoppers to purchase “Little Brown bags of hope,” bags that contain Tops Brand products that support its local food banks. The campaign ran Nov. 8, 2020 though Dec. 26, 2020, and will run again Nov. 14 through Dec. 24, this year. To support, Tops developed materials that spanned a print ad, online ads, social media, TV and radio ads, all driving to increase donations. Additionally, in stores, shelf signage, monitor signs, tear pads and merchandising that consisted of large

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can creations helped call out attention. Tops has been running this campaign for 17 years, first in Buffalo, N.Y., but it has extended into nine other Tops markets. Separating the 2020 campaign from the rest, Tops set a record by providing 3.25 million meals to local food banks across its goal of 2 million meals — a massive achievement amid COVID-19 challenges. Consumers participate by purchasing brown bags to donate or by donating themselves directly.

Walgreens — “Do anything wIth Certainty”

Consumers often avoid conversations around bladder health until the issue arises, and this is especially true among women with bladder incontinence, according to Walgreens shopper insights. The retailer crafted a campaign around its Walgreens Certainty own brand that opened the conversation, knowing whether mild or severe, the emotional part of urinary incontinence can be as limiting as the physical. With “Do anything with Certainty,” the retailer, along with its supplier partner Attindas, developed a 360-degree campaign that aimed to restore consumer confidence around the issue. The campaign leverages images of women in crucial moments hiking, biking, laughing, dancing and more and not exhibiting any worry about bladder leaks. The brand and campaign is undergoing a refresh with a new look and feel for 2022. For this effort, n-store signage and components carried the message, along with paid search and programmatic content marketing via Walgreens paid social, Walgreens PR, print, direct mail and targeted offers. Additionally, Walgreens engaged Hearst media to publish cobranded content that encouraged women to take control of their incontinence through proven effective tactics. Hearst was chosen as an edi24

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torial partner for its audience alignment, including Oprah Magazine and Woman’s Day as outlets. Also, actors Kym Whitley and Debi Mazar were tapped as spokespeople for the campaign, sharing honest and humorous stories around the issue.

They joined 12 micro influencers that created 96 pieces of original content with the products. The celebrity posts alone garnered nearly 3 million impressions. The Hearst partnership saw more than 40,000 page views.

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Don’t miss our 2022 Lineup!

YOUR PRIVATE LABEL PROGRAM JANUARY 19TH

JULY 27th

MARCH 30th

SEPT 18th

MAY 25th

DEC 14th

Store Brands Industry Forum on Nonfood Innovation

Store Brands Industry Forum on Consumer Trends

Store Brands Industry Forum on E-Commerce

Store Brands Industry Forum on Sustainability

Store Brands Industry Forum on Supply Chain

Store Brands Industry Summit

QUESTIONS OR INTEREST IN SPONSORING? Contact: Natalie Filtser at 917-690-3245 or email: nfiltser@ensembleiq.com

StoreBrandsIndustryForums.com

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A ROUNDUP OF NEW AND TOP-SELLING PRODUCTS AVAILABLE TO RETAILERS FOR PRIVATE BRANDS By Dan Ochwat and Zachary Russell

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o close out the year, Store Brands set out to present a showcase of exciting new products and best-selling products from prized and emerging private brand suppliers. Submissions could range from services, packaging types, food, nonfood, beverages and more. The goal was to compile options to help retailers grow private brand portfolios. Here are 25 different companies sharing details about products or solutions for retailers to consider for a private brand rollout or to enhance a private brand program:

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Baxters North America — plant-based proteins Using a variety of legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and pinto beans, Baxters North America expanded its plant-based protein lineup. The heat-and-eat microwavable pouches come in recipes like Indian Style Curry Brown Basmati with Lentils, Chickpea Curry, Moroccan Style Chickpeas, Cilantro Lime Pinto Beans and more. The pouched bean line debuted in February, a result of data-driven consumer insights from the company.

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Custom Bakehouse — baking mixes For consumers looking for healthier homemade baking options, Custom Bakehouse has released its lineup of plant-based protein baking mixes. The eight mixes include Buttermilk Pancake, Chocolate Chip Pancake, Apple Cinnamon & Oat Muffin, Banana Muffin, Blueberry Muffin, Fudge Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie and a no-bake bar. The mixes are low in sugar, high in protein, and free from artificial flavors and preservatives. The line was introduced in the summer of 2021, aiming to meet the nutritional needs of those who love to bake.

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Glister-Mary Lee — pizza crust mix Launching in early 2022, GlisterMary Lee has developed a cauliflower pizza crust mix that serves as an alternative to frozen crusts. The product is taking advantage of the growing plant-based and healthconscious trends while potentially becoming the first cauliflower crust mix to appear on shelves instead of the frozen section.

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Machu Picchu Foods — chocolate Developed for the vegan market, Machu Picchu introduced a vegan chocolate with rice instead of milk, containing 48% cacao and delivering an aromatic sweet taste with creamy caramel notes. The chocolate bar complements other bars from the company that are sugar free, keto and more. The manufacturer can modify the vegan option to fit any retailer’s needs.

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MCG (Marketing Concepts Group) — pasta products Popular in the EU for several years, MCG is now bringing its pasta sauces to the United States for private brands, including a Sicilian line of organic sauces made from fresh Sicilian tomatoes and Italian DOP ingredients. The company also is bringing an EU staple stateside in its Past’Adesso quick pasta cups. Consumers simply add boiling water to the cup and stir for a delicious pasta meal in flavors: 4 Cheeses, Arrabbiata, Carbonara, and Tomato and Basil.

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Miners Mix — seasoning In early 2021, Miners Mix released its Brown Sugar BBQ Kansas Sweaty — a dry rub meant to give meat a traditional Kansas City barbeque flavor. The company also makes a Maynards Memphis BBQ Rub, with a Texas-style BBQ rub soon to be

released. The small-batch seasoning blends are award-winning and 100% natural, per the company.

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Nooty — nut butter Nooty’s squeezable hazelnut butter is a high-protein snack aimed at providing healthy fats and proteins on the go. The squeezable package was launched in late February of 2020, and the product is made with natural ingredients. Nooty’s hazelnut butter is high in fats, amino acids and proteins that are easily absorbed and processed by the body.

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Northern Quinoa Production Corp. — grain blend For a healthy, low-carb grain option, Northern Quinoa’s cilantro lime quinoa and riced cauliflower blend fits the bill. The grain blend is an alternative to rice, and is a good source of fiber and protein.

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Northern Quinoa’s quinoa and cauliflower blend comes as interest in plant-based alternatives has grown in popularity over the past few years.

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Rovira — soda crackers Rovira Foods’ whole grain soda crackers are the latest in the company’s portfolio. The product was released last January, and a box contains eight packs. The soda crackers contain zero cholesterol and trans fats, making them a healthy snack option.

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Season Brand — sardines Season’s skinless and boneless sardines are a sustainably sourced, non-GMO seafood item that is packed with health benefits. These sardines for private brands come in 100% olive oil and are rich in Omega-3s, protein and vitamin D. The product can be enjoyed as a snack or an ingredient in a main course. The packaged sardines are

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Terrapin Ridge Farms — jam A hot and sweet item to spice up dinners or a snack and broaden a private brand portfolio, Terrapin Ridge Farms launched its Hot Pepper Bacon Jam five years ago and it soon became its signature product. It sells more than any other product that the company owner has seen in her 25-plus years in the industry. The jam has a smokey and sweet flavor with real bacon pieces.

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Virginia Diner — peanuts Launched in March 2021, Virginia Diner’s gourmet, extra large peanuts dusted with a tangy taco, cilantro and lime seasoning has become its number one product. With extra large Virginia peanuts, it’s available for own brands looking for on-trend flavor and superior quality, per the company.

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Aluf Plastics — trash bags Made with 50% recycled material, Aluf Plastics has seen tremendous success with its Neat brand trash bags available for private brand development. The 13-gallon trash bags are exceptionally strong through its Harmonyx advanced film technology and reduces landfill waste by incorporating 50% recycled material into the production. The product also has a unique reversible black and white bag feature, where the outside is black to conceal what’s inside for the dumpster but the white inside offers a more pure look when placed in the kitchen.

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Drylock Technologies — incontinence protection Approaching the incontinence space with a shift toward sustainability, Drylock introduced its Simpli underwear products which are made from clean

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Garcoa — lotion Coming in February 2022, Garcoa will be rolling out a private label national brand equivalent version of the Dr. Teals Sleep Body Lotion with Melatonin, Lavender and Chamomile. Garcoa, a women-owned business, said that lifestyle ingredients like lavender have been used for generations as comfortable, proven and safe solutions for the consumer across many categories, and with this product, retailers can recognize that consumers are looking for alternative remedies to everyday problems such as sleep issues.

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Numee Beauty — face cream Numee Beauty’s Pause Skin Perfecting Whipped Cream face cream helps stimulate collagen production, minimize the appearance of fine lines, targets blemishes and protects from pollutants. The cream launched in January of 2021, is made from 95% natural ingredients, is vegan and suitable for sensitive skin.

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Sesshin Cosmetics — skin care The company’s Radiance Serum for private brands helps skin cell renewal, giving users a more radiant and glowing skin. It’s been a best seller for the company for a few years. The product has more than 95% natural ingredients and integrates a proprietary Cosmetic Drone technology that increases cellular renewal.

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Crystal Geyser Water Co. — teas Launched in May, Crystal Geyser rolled out plant-based sweetened teas to be a healthier alternative to sugar-sweetened teas and artificial sweetened teas that have zero calories and no sugar. The company said the products carry on its tradition of providing healthy products for private label development.

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DreamPak — hydration drink mixes Currently available in select Southern U.S. markets, DreamPak’s Enhanca Hydrate is a concentrated drink mix solution. Two squeezes from the bottle delivers 500mg of electrolytes in a consumerfriendly format. The product is an alternative to stick pack hydration mix competitors, and was launched in September of this year.

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KDM Global Partners — wine KDM Global Partners is offering clients the production and bottling of proprietary label wines, as well as direct-to-consumer sales and fulfillment capabilities. KDM can also assist with packaging, regulatory approvals, delivery and fulfillment, and brand-building. The company has been in business for over 15 years, and assists clients with their branded wine in over 40 states.

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Mighty Swell — hard seltzers Mighty Swell Spiked Seltzer is looking to shake up the hard seltzer category next March with the release of the new Keep It Weird flavor variety pack, available for private label. The attention-grabbing flavors include Tiger’s Blood, Rocket Pop, Pink Colada and Purple Magic. The 12pack collection of seltzers will be refreshed yearly to keep the flavors new and exciting, as hard seltzers continue to innovate the alcohol space.

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Krüger North America — coffee capsules Private label brands in need of certified coffee pods can look to Krüger North America, who is offering aluminum Nespresso compatible capsules. The coffee is available with myriad certifications, like organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance and Kosher, and is offered in countless intensity levels and flavor profiles. The capsules were launched in 2021, and is the company’s first expansion within the coffee category. 30

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NSI — hydration blend NSI Group’s Sugar Free Hydration is a powdered blend to be mixed with water with the goal of hydrating and supporting immunity. The product contains six electrolytes critical to the body (potassium, magnesium, sodium, chloride and manganese), and delivers 1,000% the daily recommendation of Vitamin C. Flavored with monk fruit and erythritol, the limeade flavored mix is ideal for private label brands looking to provide customers with a nutritional, onthe-go beverage mix product.

Top Pop Alcohol Beverage Co-Packaging — RTD beverage The company said ready-to-drink alcohol beverages have exploded over the past three years, as consumers are more adventurous in exploring new flavors and packaging formats. The turnkey company does contract manufacturing of RTD Cocktail Pouches, Alcohol Ice Pops and 6 to 12 oz. Drink Pouches for retailers looking to have more fun in the private label adult beverage space.

Two Trees Beverage — sustainable alcohol Supplying private label beer, wine and spirits, the company said it delivers time-honored and on-trend barrelaged taste. The company introduced a Sustainably Matured product that is a solution that solves production and product development issues, while combating climate change and doing good by saving trees and reducing carbon. As experts in blending grains, and with an endless combination of wood types, Two Trees can bring unique products to market that will add incremental sales.

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SWEETS REPORT

TREAT YOURSELF AMID PANDEMIC STRESS, CONSUMERS TURNED TO SWEET SNACKS FOR A MOMENT OF JOY By Zachary Russell

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he COVID-19 pandemic has kept most people indoors for nearly two years, which led to a rise in grocery deliveries, healthier foods and a renewed interest in home-cooked meals. Another category that has seen increased sales across the board during the pandemic is sweets. “More consumers are ordering from online platforms or are stocking up on their sweet treats in bulk when they make their limited trip to the grocery store,” said Connor Kramer, national account manager at Krüger North America, an ingredient supplier that makes chocolate and sweets for private label companies. “These ordering patterns are increasing sales at the retail level and are replacing the consumer’s sweet treat fix that they would normally get at a restaurant or on the go. Physical and mental well-being plays a factor, too. This pandemic has certainly caused a lot of stress and tragedy for many families. I think people turn to sweet treats like chocolate to get that instant feeling of comfort and joy. During these times, people are more accepting of ‘treating yourself’ to food that makes you feel happy even if it is for a short period of time.” Of the products in the category: ice cream has seen some of the most success. According to the International Dairy Food Association, ice cream makers in the U.S. produced more than 1 billion gallons of hard ice cream in 2021, up 6% from

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2019. In the first five months of 2021, hard ice cream production was up 4% compared with the previous year. More specifically, the IDFA said that between March and May of 2021, sales of frozen novelties were up 24% from the same period in 2019. Innodelice, a supplier network for the frozen dessert industry, determined four growing trends in the category: snack-ification (bite sized, controlled portions), healthy-er (additional benefits, plant-based), natural-ity (clean label or organic) and indulgent & surprising (multi-textured, colorful, or exotic). “Traditionally, private labels look to brands to identify

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SWEETS REPORT

best performing SKUs and launch a ‘knock-off’ version of the same product,” said Andrea Montreuil, co-founder of Innodelice, Canada. “Hence, double-coated bars, round premium sandwiches, multi-texture pints and, of course, plant-based frozen desserts are certainly products to consider. However, with the rise of private label consumer loyalty and the innovation potential that exists within our global ice cream ecosystem, we believe that private label retailers can become trend setters vs trend followers. Immunity ice cream could be a good example.”

ice cream flavors such as mango, passionfruit, guava and more, but is only available through Gopuff. “Premium artisan varieties are taking hold within ice cream, with the integration of global flavors such as horchata, churro, and mochi,” added Hedges. “We are also seeing diverse varieties pop up, with green tea and various chili pepper flavors to deliver new flavor experiences within candy, or ingredients such as cookies or cereal in ice cream to deliver a sense of nostalgia. Textures and layers are creating enhanced experiences, and limited-edition items are providing for new, sometimes seasonal opportunities, particularly for private brands.” In addition to new and unique flavors, healthy and plant-based sweet options have risen out of the pandemic, including products with less sugar, added protein, probiotics and more. “With 77% of consumers looking to lead a healthier life than pre-pandemic, consumers increased their efforts to proactively manage their health and diet,” said Hedges. “Additionally, with changes in routine and the added stress caused by the pandemic, mental wellbeing also became a focus, with consumers looking for products and food to provide comfort.”

INNOVATIVE FLAVORS

With increased sales comes an increased demand for new and innovative flavors. Unique and creative flavors have dominated the ice cream category, with private label brands doing a lot of the innovation. “Two of the top trends impacting sweet treats like candy and ice cream are the infusion of dynamic flavors and better-for-you qualities, creating new experiences for consumers,” said James Hedges, senior manager of category solutions at Daymon. “Unique flavors, layered textures, and color support the growing trend of sensory fusion appealing to consumers — especially younger consumers such as Gen Z and Millennials.” Publix and Albertsons are two chains that recently brought back holiday ice cream flavors for the fall and winter seasons. Publix Premium’s unique seasonal flavors include Praline Pecan Bread Pudding, Caramel Mountain Tracks, Marshmallow, Candy Cane & Cookie Blast, and Mocha Mud Pie just to name a few. At Albertsons stores, pumpkin pie, eggnog and peppermint flavors are available for the holidays. Outside of the holiday varieties, Southeastern Grocers has won dozens of awards for its dairy products, including ice cream and frozen yogurt. Upstart ice cream company Frutero recently launched an exclusive flavor with delivery service Gopuff, a testament to the flavor innovation in the category. The new Tangerine n’ Cream flavor join Frutero’s lineup of other tropical

The chocolate category has also seen a major increase in sales from 2019 to 2020. According to a recent article issued by the National Confectioners Association, in the year 2020, chocolate sales increased by 10.5% from the previous year, totaling 21.9 billion in the United States alone. In the candy category as a whole, total sales of non-seasonal candy were estimated to reach $6.5 billion in 2021, up 19% from 2020 and 23.8% from 2019, according to Numerator. The July-to-October period saw non-seasonal candy sales grow 19% year over year and 24% compared to two years ago. This increase in chocolate sales could provide a boost to private brand sweets as retailers look to compete with name brand chocolate items. “Retailers should be looking into more private label offerings that are matches to the big branded chocolate items,” said Krüger’s Kramer. “With the pandemic, due to a number of factors like product availability and increased costs, we have seen consumer willingness to try private label chocolate items that they normally would ignore. I think this willingness to buy the less expensive chocolate alternatives and the diminishment of brand loyalty will continue to gain steam and is something all retailers should be mindful of.” www.storebrands.com

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DISPATCHES Vol. 15

Meijer’s Small, Hyper-Local Market In the fall, Meijer opened its fourth Rivertown Market format store in Detroit, offering a cozy neighborhood feel in a 42,000-square-foot store that has a vast assortment of exclusive fresh and prepared foods, Meijer own brand favorites, and a special partnership with the local Great Lakes Coffee. Store Brands visited the location to get a taste of Detroit’s finest in the hyper-local and fresh store. A cold case is dedicated to local vendors.

With ceilings that are 23-feet tall, the market has an open-air feel, ideal for a fresh produce display. Another cold case dedicated to Meijer own brand on-the-go foods.

Meijer partnered with local business Great Lakes Coffee, specializing in nitro brews.

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The store boasts a ton of local alcohol, including sweet Michigan wines.

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