Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA about Bowl & Basket, which will replace ShopRite, ShopRite Kitchen, ShopRite Trading Company and Cape Gourmet private label lines over the next two years, director of brand marketing Laura Kind, said: “CPG companies may have led in the past [when it comes to branding], but I think that that paradigm is shifting.
“Own brands offer retailers an opportunity to control their own destiny, and to create an experience for the consumer, so own brand private label is only going to continue to expand. I think particularly for the younger generation, the idea of being particularly drawn to or motivated by any one brand name is less than it used to be for those generations, and that offers us an opportunity to push forward on our own vision.
“We would expect that as we roll out the brand and it becomes more prominent in store, you’ll see that reflected in the sales numbers.”
'It’s a really great opportunity to say our equity as a retailer is different from retailer X, Y and Z'
Asked what strategic role Bowl & Basket would play at ShopRite, she said: “It’s a really great opportunity to say our equity as a retailer is different from retailer X, Y and Z. What do our consumers come to us for?
“We wanted to really evaluate where our current consumer is and what she’s looking for in the market and at ShopRite specifically, so we developed Bowl & Basket to really answer that question, so what you’ll see is ShopRite, ShopRite Trading Company and Cape Gourmet transition [to Bowl & Basket] over the next 18-24 months.
"We have national brand equivalents, but we also want to develop and expand into more products that you can only purchase at ShopRite."
Asked about the scale of the project, she said: “Within the brands we mentioned we’re talking about 4,000 SKUs that will be converted to Bowl & Basket. But we’re also continuing to grow [the natural and organic private label line] Wholesome Pantry, which is about four years old.”
'The design conveys great food, but also a level of care'
So what impression is the Bowl & Basket brand designed to convey?
“Bowl & Basket is about from our bowl to your basket,” said Kind, who said consumer feedback informed the development process at every stage.
“The design conveys great food, but also a level of care, and I think that that’s what we really wanted to get over, that wasn’t coming through before. But we also wanted to keep that value perception. We want our consumers to see that the same care they can see we take when they walk into ShopRite is also taken with our own brand products.”
Asked about the decision to bring the ShopRite name into the design architecture rather than having a red ShopRite logo stuck on top of the new packaging, she said: “ShopRite is the banner name of our store, but we wanted to let the Bowl & Basket brand live within the banner. We heard from our consumers that this made more sense to them.”
The highest quality at the lowest price
Asked where Bowl & Basket fits within a ‘good, better, best’ pricing architecture, she said: “We don’t have a tiered strategy; what’s important for us is to say what’s the highest quality product we can offer at the lowest possible price? But within that you’ll see Bowl & Basket Specialty for unique items.”
The launch of Bowl & Basket and Paperbird, a new private label line covering household products, will be supported by an omnichannel marketing campaign, said Kind.
ShopRite is the registered trademark of Wakefern Food Corp., a retailer-owned coop based in New Jersey. With 278 ShopRite supermarkets in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland, ShopRite serves more than six million customers each week.
“Discount products still represent the majority of store brand sales in America, but they have ceded three share points in the last three years. Premium tiers of private-label products have grown in this time, now representing over 19% of sales… Consumers are more willing than ever to foot the bill for the right store branded products, and stores with premium products, such as premier fresh grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts and Fresh Market, have continued to see lifts in private-label sales.”
Online platform Thrive Market has been quick to capitalize on the private label opportunity, developing ranges that have quickly generated significant volumes and helped to make it an online destination for people looking for natural and organic products, says its co-founder. Read more HERE.
"Private label continues to be a great growth vehicle for sales, but we have multiple brand names under the Sprouts brand of collection of products. We plan to build a cohesive private label brand streamlining and improving our communication to customers that maximize the Sprouts position as the affordable, healthy living grocer.” Jack Sinclair, CEO Sprouts Farmers Markets, October 30, 2019 (Q3 earnings call)
“While many grocers offer private label products, Our Brands is a real differentiator for Kroger because our customers tell us through blind taste tests that Our Brands' quality is better than not only the competitors' private label products but also many leading national brands as well. Kroger's Our Brands grew 3.4% this quarter. We also introduced 231 new Our Brand items during the third quarter.” William McMullen, CEO Kroger, December 5, 2019 (Q3 earnings call)