WEST SENECA, N.Y. -- At four U.S. supermarket chains, President's Choice International here has introduced the "Insider's Report," a booklet that features new additions and improvements to the President's Choice premium private-label line.
In late May, the Insider's Report debuted at Jewel Cos. in the Chicago area and has since been rolled out to Charlotte, N.C.-based Harris Teeter, Tops Markets in Buffalo, N.Y., and Star Market Co. in Cambridge, Mass.
The Insider's Report intersperses copy and photographs of new products with comic drawings and caricatures that are customized for each chain, sources close to President's Choice told SN.
"The Insider's Report is a separate insert to the regular ad format," the source said. "It writes to the product attributes and really defines what differentiates the items." The four chains' Insider's Reports have similar formats, but items and prices differ according to their respective markets. Each chain, the source added, chooses to focus on different items.
"Jewel is very focused on the [frozen] boxed meat program and Harris Teeter isn't, but Harris Teeter is further developed on the soda program. Each one of them kind of picks out the items they feel best suit their mix," the source said.
Ruth Ellen Kinzey, corporate communications manager at Harris Teeter, told SN Harris Teeter is currently soliciting customer input before it decides whether to use the Insider's Report again.
"Store management was instructed to place the Insider's Report in a highly visible area. The Insider's Report was displayed differently in the various stores, depending upon store design and how the store management believed it could best handle this particular promotion," Kinzey said.
"President's Choice items have worked well for Harris Teeter," she added. Cookies and soft drinks, according to Kinzey, are two top categories in the President's Choice line.
Officials at Jewel declined comment, and officials at Tops and Star Markets did not return phone calls. A local observer, however, told SN Star Markets heavily promoted the Insider's Report.
"Star Market is just going crazy over it," the observer said. "In their Allston store, Star had excellent displays, and they had people dressed up like U.S. presidents performing demos."
Sources close to President's Choice said additional Insider's Reports will likely come out around the holidays; the program might expand to include other chains that carry the President's Choice line.
"At this point President's Choice is focusing on customers that have the broadest SKU base for the program and also have the expertise to execute multiple new item listings, [point-of-sale] materials and ad materials and coordinate all of that together for a three- or four-week program," a source said.
A division of Loblaw Cos., Toronto, President's Choice International markets Loblaw's President's Choice line on a market exclusive basis throughout the United States. The Insider's Report has been used for several years in Canada.