From flour and yogurt to coffee and hamburger buns, private label products can be found in every section of supermarkets. And retailers are intensifying more than ever their efforts to expand, promote and make their range more attractive, gradually helping to change the perception of consumers who have attached the “low-end” label to these items.
Posted at 5:00 am
“Before, the house brands were at the bottom of the shelves. That’s where we pick them up”, illustrates Caroline Cadorette. This “professional couponer,” founder of the Couponomiser à l’année Facebook group, made this observation during the supermarket rounds she makes each week.
Mario Bélanger, a consultant in the field of retail and distribution, examines the brochures of the various brands on a weekly basis. The one who until recently held the position of CEO of Mayrand assures that he had never seen so many Complimentary, Irresistible or Nameless products featured in promotions. He made the same observation as Mr.me Cadorette recently in the supermarket: private label orange juice was taking up as much, if not more, space than national brand orange juice. “Retailers are giving more visibility to their own brands. They make themselves known very well,” he notes. And the brands, both in IGA and in Metro and Loblaw (Maxi and Provigo), have confirmed that Press that they were devoting more and more energy to their brands and that they intended to add new products.
In these inflationary times, while consumers looking for ways to save are more likely to adopt these lower-priced brands, their perception of them also tends to change, according to Jordan LeBel, associate professor of food marketing at Concordia University.
“The consumer is now ready to give house brands a second chance. A decade ago, private labels positioned themselves as the entry level for people who wanted to stretch their food dollars as far as possible because they often came from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, he explains. Today, private label brands are really positioning themselves as a viable alternative to national brands for everyone. »
In fact, this fall, Loblaw will mark the cost with an advertising campaign focusing on his two brands: President’s Choice and No Name. However, Johanne Héroux, Loblaw’s senior director of corporate affairs and communications, declined to elaborate. This holiday season, one hundred new items packaged under the President’s Choice name will hit the shelves. Currently, the brand has 4,000 products while there are 1,000 that the consumer finds in the yellow No Name package.
At IGA, for the past two years, efforts have been put into product presentation. “We changed all packaging from the Compliments brand and introduced the Panache brand to replace Sensations,” explains spokeswoman Anne-Hélène Lavoie. The goal is to further develop the brand. It is part of the plans to have more private label products. “Currently, the sign has “several thousand”.
Same story at Metro, which has a list of 4,800 in-house products. ” [Dans le segment des collations]we are in the process of developing a range to meet these new needs,” explains Marie-France Gibson, Metro’s vice president of private label brands.
A “copy and paste” of the country brand?
On the other hand, retailers that have their products made by third-party manufacturers, often companies that specialize in making products for private labels, claim that their recipe for ketchup, for example, is not a copy of the popular Heinz.
“We have to do better with the product, insists Mme Gibson. It must be tasty, efficient, attractive and it must be able to compete with the big ones that have big budgets. It is a constant effort. »
“The idea is not to be a pale copy of… it’s really to have the best possible product,” adds Johanne Héroux.
“When they launched their Le Décadent cookie to compete with the national brand, Loblaw executives promised consumers it would be 50% chocolate chip,” recalls Jordan LeBel. “They didn’t want a version cheap of the national leader, he adds bluntly. They wanted something that would actually be able to top it. »
“We made an ambitious promise to consumers. I think private label should go back to that so that people think it’s worth changing supermarkets for that brand. »
IAG: Compliments Panache
Number of products: several thousand
Underground : Wellness, Selection, Irresistible, Eco selection
Number of products: 4800
Loblaw: President’s election, unnamed
Number of products: 5000
Other private labels: Our Excellence (Walmart), Great Value (Walmart), Kirkland (Costco)
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