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TWIG Video: Giant Eagle Private Label Is More Than Just National-Brand Equivalent

VP of Own Brands delves into how latest private label products are kicking the term 'generic' to the curb

Grocery Own brands are having their moment in the spotlight as private labels continue to smash sales records. That’s why the TWIG Podcast invited Giant Eagle, Inc's. VP of Own Brands Kasey Sheffer on its latest episode to provide insights into how the private label category managed to emerge from national brands’ massive shadow.  

A two-time TWIG winner, Kasey explains how periods of inflation can typically accelerate Own brand growth. “But I think interestingly we're at a pivot point where I'm starting to see things happen a little bit differently,” she points out. “Retailers are really establishing these brands with firm intentions to create ‘brands.’ With that comes the opportunity to create a true emotional connection with their customers through their Own brand portfolio, much the same way CPGs or other name brands have been creating that connection for decades – it’s what their brands are built upon.”

During the episode, Kasey explores how private label industry has accelerated beyond the “me too” position. “Many of us are out there creating products assortments that really do rival anything else that's out on the shelf," she says. "We don't have to mimic and just sit in a position of national brand equivalency. We can be differentiated, we can create lifestyle brands that exist based upon their own proof points and reason for being.”

This strategy is producing trust and preference for strong Own brands – even superseding national brands. Kasey notices that many shoppers at Giant Eagle will select the retailer's Own brand as their first choice in the basket. These products are no longer the runner-up selection.

Kasey also touches on Giant Eagles' own path to private label success, discussing such factors as building vendor communities, gaining shelf attention and pivoting where necessary.

Plus, Kasey provides podcast listeners some valuable career advice and the importance of quality volunteering, sharing a piece of advice that stuck with her: “Find the talents that you've been blessed with and then find a way in which to utilize those talents to better those around you.”

Progressive Grocer’s podcast focuses on the trends, topics and interests that move women forward in grocery retail. If you have an idea for a TWIG podcast topic, contact [email protected] and/or [email protected].

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