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Quality Control


If private brands are to make a name for themselves, the quality has to be there.

That message was delivered loud and clear by multiple speakers at the conference today.

What’s new in this area is that retailers are increasingly going to consumers for feedback.

Take Ahold USA. The retailer recently added a new element to private-label testing. It now brings products under development to the store level and lets shoppers try them, said Melissa Smith-Hanzen, Ahold USA’s director of strategic design for corporate brands.

“The bar has been raised,” Smith-Hanzen told the audience.

The retailer is using the strategy extensively with the redesign of its mid-tier store brands.

“If a product doesn’t meet our quality levels, it won’t fit into the redesign,” she said.

Ahold’s in-store testing is conducted at six stores, two each for Giant-Landover, Giant-Carlise and Stop & Shop.

Such a strategy shows that rigorous professional testing alone is not enough. Consumers have such high expectations when it comes to brand quality that it makes complete sense to get them involved in the product-development process.


Liz Webber

Liz Webber is Engagement Director / Fresh Market Editor at Supermarket News. She covers fresh foods for the magazine and creates multimedia, blog posts and other content for the website. She joined...

Julie Gallagher

Julie Gallagher’s delicious foray into coverage of the food industry was purely accidental. With a background in technology, she joined Supermarket News as associate editor of its Technology...
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