Store Brands

APR 2015

Store Brands delivers unprecedented strategic and tactical information needed by retail executives to develop and support compelling, differentiated store brand programs to build customer loyalty.

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www.storebrands.info / April 2015 / Store Brands 2 9 Special Report: Go Green hoppers are more concerned than ever about the sustainability of the products they purchase, wanting to know where the products are sourced, how responsibly they're manufactured, and what other ways their production and purchase benefit the environment and communities both local and afar. However, retailers new to the "green" game might not know where to begin when looking to enhance sustainability with their store brand products. Perhaps the best place to begin is with the manufacturer. Partner for success In their quest to make their store brand program greener, retailers first must identify suppliers dedicated to sustainable practices, says Dan Kelly, vice president of sales for Tracy, Calif.-based Musco Family Olive Co. "Retailers should look to how a product is made [through] every step of the supply chain. They should ask their suppliers about how they are creating a chain of sustainability," he explains. Retailers also should learn about what matters to their shoppers when it comes to sustainability. "The retailer and the manufacturer could … survey their customer base to determine which sustainability factors would resonate most," says Mark Rossolo, director of public affairs at UL Environment, Marietta, Ga. Retailers have many options for making their store brand operations greener. Among them, they could encourage their suppliers to use the lowest tier of pro- cessing, says Alexander Gillett, CEO of HowGood, New York. For example, if a retailer is sourcing beans, it could sell them both dry and canned, but with only heat and/or salt used in preservation. "Less processing means less energy," he says. "Use the organic formulation in your store brand conventional ready-to-eat foods, and then market the lack of preservatives used. This can keep your costs and your shoppers' costs down while offering the simple, affordable and most sustainable option in each marginal segment." In the paper products category, Richard Vergara, president of Orlando, Fla.-based Ampack Corp., says national brand manufacturers continue to reduce the sheet count of their goods to offset the constant increases in energy and transportation costs. However, doing so increases the amount of carbon dioxide emissions during distribution, as manufacturers are transporting fewer packages per trip. "The opportunity that [exists] for store brands is to increase sheet count in order to keep the freight cost lower per unit of paper, adding a sustainable value to their brands," he says. As for materials in the paper products category, he points to bathroom tissue made from 100 percent eucalyptus, a rapidly renewable resource, as a greener option for shoppers. His company produces such paper. Turning to the prepared foods department, retailers that make products on-site should consider Run greener With shoppers more concerned than ever about the environmental impact of packaged goods, retailers need to work closely with their own-brand suppliers to "green up" products and get their sustainability message out. By Randy Hofbauer

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