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 6 Store Brands / February 2017 / www.storebrands.info Category Intelligence: Frozen/Canned Fruits and Vegetables that boast five or fewer pronounceable and under- standable ingredients. The rising popularity of breakfast bowls featuring acai or dragon fruit puree, meanwhile, presents an op- portunity on the frozen fruit side, says Alex McIntosh, vice president of sales for Wake Forest, N.C.-head- quartered Imperial Frozen Foods. He expects interest to grow not only in frozen purees made with traditional fruit, but also in those made with exotic fruit. Russick also points to opportunity in "serve with" fruit and vegetable products. Consumers are looking for ready-to-use items that they can combine with other ingredients to create a healthful meal or snack. And to help consumers get more vegetables into their diet while also aiding them in their culinary pursuits, retailers might want to consider adding frozen riced vegetables to the store brand mix. Processed finely to be rice-like, riced vegetables cover multiple usage occasions, Caton explains. They can be roasted, baked or sautéed — and can be used as a side dish, as a replacement for carb-rich items such as rice or pasta in a main course, and even as an ingredient in pizza crust. Consider portability, value packs Updated packaging, too, could help retailers boost interest in new or existing own-brand canned and frozen fruit and vegetables. Portability is important to millennials, Caton notes, many of whom also are "thrill-seeking foodies." "Frozen mashed vegetables in convenient microwavable trays serve as a healthy and tasty meal replacement or an innovative side dish that can complement any meal," he says. Portable items must also be "ready to use [or] ready to combine, eye-popping and convenient," Russick adds. On the frozen fruit side, package size is an important consideration. Consumers are gravitating toward larger pack sizes, McIntosh notes, shifting from 12-ounce and 14-ounce bags to 32-ounce, 48-ounce and even 64-ounce formats. "Consumers are looking for better value to coincide with their increased usage. The 48-ounce bag size is now the No. 2-selling pack size by dollar sales and shows a 39 percent increase, while the traditional 12-ounce bag is seeing a 4 percent decline," he explains, citing data from market research firm IRI for the 52 weeks ending Oct. 2, 2016. "While we are seeing some growth in the smaller 10-ounce bags, that is being driven by discount retailers looking to hit lower price points." When it comes to canned fruit and veg- etables, retailers will want to think outside the traditional can, adding "stackability, ease of opening [and] more colors and em- bossments," Russick says. He also points to the growing importance of recyclability and sustainability for packaging overall. "Forty percent of food dollars are

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