Store Brands

FEB 2017

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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5 0 Store Brands / February 2017 / www.storebrands.info Category Intelligence: Pasta, Rice and Grains DeStefano points to the success of his company's Muscle Mac microwavable macaroni and cheese. Fortified with vegetable protein, the GMO-free product boasts 20 grams of protein per serving. Convenience is a desired attribute within the rice and grains/ancient grains segments, too, he adds. "We also see demand for cleaner formulas and ease of preparation as consumers seek cleaner and easier-to-prepare foods," he says. Housman points to pot-ready spaghetti, which is cut to 5 inches in length, as a convenience- minded packaging option to add growth to the category Pouches also ramp up the convenience factor. Retort pouches in the dry aisle, as well as microwavable pouches in the freezer case, allow consumers to prepare quality rice in a few minutes, Vegas explains, and "are driving growth in relatively stagnant categories." When it comes to packaging finishes, matte is in, Laudiero notes. "More supermarkets are spending time developing attractive packaging for their private labels that both tells a story and stands out on a shelf," he says. Because pasta, rice and grains make great partners for so many other foods, some creative merchandising could help attract shoppers to own brands within the segment. "Some growing brands like P.F. Chang's and InnovAsian are creating product lines that have separate rice and meats and have been effective in merchandising these products together," Vegas says. Those meal occasions need not be limited to dinner. Kosova suggests cross-merchandising store brand pasta with complementary items to provide lunch solutions for shoppers. Pasta promotions also command attention Housman says that Dakota Grower Pasta Co. has helped its private brand partners manage successful promotions built around shoppable pallets and display shippers. The company uses consumer analytics to build out promotional schedules in partnership with retailers, promoting egg noodles and lasagna in the cold weather months; rotini, rainbow rotini and shells in the warmer "summer salad" months; or various core pasta throughout the year. SB Canning is a freelance writer from Libertyville, Ill. Don't limit own-brand whole-grain rice offerings to basic brown. Do cross-merchan- dise own-brand pasta, rice and grains with complementary items to provide lunch and dinner solutions.

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