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Store Brands 2014: The consumer is king

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Consumers want their voices to be heard. They’re eager to share their opinions about how a product performs.

Retailers are letting them do just that with social media contests that reward consumers who post product reviews, photos and endorsements. Such programs position consumers as brand ambassadors.

SN’s 2014 Store Brands report addresses how retailers are connecting with consumers in other ways. Take Target. The retailer opened a pop-up store in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal twice last year, once for its new Threshold home goods brand, and, more recently, for its exclusive collection of bath and body products by makeup artist Sonia Kashuk.

The Kashuk pop-up store operated for one day in November. The store featured fragrances, shower gel, body lotion, loofas and shower caps. A bathtub featuring a live model and bearing the Target logo and Kashuk’s name anchored the store. Balloons positioned to look like bubbles surrounded the tub.

“Seeing a girl in a tub on top of a huge display of bath and body products in Grand Central Terminal literally stopped everyone in their tracks,” Kashuk told SN.

Separately, this year’s Store Brands report analyzes shopping behavior of one of today’s most influential consumer groups: Millennials. A survey conducted for the PLMA for publication in SN reveals that Millennials visit food stores often, especially traditional supermarkets.

The survey also shows they are universally familiar with store brands and buy them regularly. 

While the most digitally connected demographic group of Americans, Millennials have not significantly patronized online grocery shopping portals, though they purchase other types of consumer goods and services online at a high rate.

Then there’s a look at the supermarket-deprived consumer. Prior to Fare & Square’s September 2013 opening, the city of Chester Pa., didn’t have a supermarket for 12 years.

Fare & Square management initially was unsure how the IGA store brand would be received. So it executed a comprehensive sampling and educational campaign.

Once consumers tried, it they liked it: The IGA label outsells the national brand in several key categories, including sugar and macaroni and cheese.

Store brand sales are so strong that the three-month-old store is being reset to accommodate more IGA products, including pet food and household cleaners.

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Contributors

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...

Carol Angrisani

Carol Angrisani is an associate editor at Supermarket News. Along with covering the packaged goods beat, she also manages SN’s annual private-label and ethnic marketing supplements. Carol...
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