Robin VanDenabeele (right) with IGA CEO John Ross
IGA has named Robin VanDenabeele director of IGA Exclusive Brands, overseeing IGA’s private label redesign, product development and marketing. VanDenabeele joins the IGA team during a systematic research process that began nearly a year ago with analysis of IGA Exclusive Brand's quality, shopper interest, design, marketing and range of offerings, and is now nearing its conclusion with design and testing of a new label.
“Our customer research revealed that IGA Exclusive Brand gets extremely high marks from shoppers when it relates to quality, trust and shopper interest, but the look of the label is where we fall short,” IGA CEO John Ross said. “Now we’re working to align the quality and reputation of our brand with the look and feel of a modern, innovative product line that resonates with our new Local Equals Fresh marketing and merchandising platform. Robin’s extensive experience in private label design, combined with her background in analytics, market research and category management, gives us the expertise we need to breathe new life into the IGA Exclusive Brand line with both a new look and new offerings.”
VanDenabeele was most recently with Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, where she launched its private label brand of more than 1,800 SKUs, which earned 30 artistic awards and generated more than $100 million in sales across 77-plus stores.
Previously she worked for Topco on a $215 million portfolio of food sauces, and at Symphony/IRI, where she focused on market research and analytics for national chains like Walgreens and Target.
Regarding her new role at Chicago-based IGA, VanDenabeele said: “Connecting with the consumer on an emotional level while creating a rewarding brand experience is our top priority. Our goal is to reignite the IGA brand and get consumers to fill their pantries with all things IGA. To achieve this, we need to focus on household staples, while staying ahead of emerging trends to ensure our products are relevant to our customers.”
The Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) includes more than 6,000 Hometown Proud Supermarkets worldwide, supported by 36 distribution companies and nearly 40 major manufacturers, vendors and suppliers known as IGA’s Red Oval Family partners.