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5 keys to private label success in a post-COVID world

From e-commerce opportunities to creating meal kits, there’s an opportunity for grocers to leverage and promote private brands to the post-pandemic shopper

A new report from private brand developer Daymon looks at “5 Keys to Private Brand Success” in a post-COVID world. The consultancy sees this world as one that will likely still adhere to social distancing measures, see consumers continue to eat more at home than out and spend less money in an economy not quite ready to recover from the damage done. Importantly, it will also include shoppers who are already committed to buying private brands, having tried them more during COVID-19.

In an effort to better prepare grocers and private brand partners for a “new normal” to come, the consultancy characterized five key action areas to help drive private brand success.

The five keys are:

Prioritize innovation
Consumers may be budgeting, but it doesn’t mean they’re not interested in making more exciting at-home meals or looking for more from what they’re buying in stores. The Daymon report suggests retailers should innovate by expanding into categories that thrived during the pandemic such as everyday cooking items, value-added produce and salty snacks.

Enhance solutions
Create private brand-driven mealtime solutions. Grocers can repackage existing items and sell them together as a store brand meal solution. For instance, pair private-label products from centre store with a dessert option as well as fresh protein and produce.

At the same time, grocers can bring in packaged meal solutions from local restaurants and pair them with store brand products as a solution. This will serve shoppers still not quite comfortable to go out and eat but wanting that local flavour that's paired with a trusty store brand.

Educate on benefits
As promotional tactics are reintroduced, consumers who were trying private brands during COVID might be swayed back to their preferred national brands on sale. To battle this, the Daymon report suggests grocers promote the quality of its own brands to consumers, as opposed to mainly promoting the brands as a value buy and exclusive. Grocers need to educate on the quality and continuing innovation of its store brands.

Deliver inspiration
Again, as consumers are expected to continue to cook more at home even after businesses open, grocers should create recipes using its private-label products. To go further, the recipes should include common items that shoppers were stockpiling at home.

Lead e-commerce
Daymon suggested private brands take the reins of their own digital shopping experiences. It’s likely after getting a taste of curbside pickup or delivery that consumers will continue to shop this way at least part of the time and retailers can put their private brands at the forefront of these solutions. “Private brands historically have not been well represented online and often get lost in digital formats,” the report said.

The report said to get private brands at the top of searches, tag and link them to what consumers are looking for online for diets or nutritional needs, dedicate online space to them, and promote them through digital platforms.

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