Channels / Grocery
Thinking Inside the Box

New Products Require New Retailer Strategy

November 26, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+

I am writing this month’s column while in Europe and thinking about the volcanic eruptions taking place around the world.

Not the ash variety. No, the new SKU variety.

The past five years has seen an unprecedented period of the launch of new products in the private label arena. New designs, new brands and sub brands, new tiers in Value (first price) as well and NBE and Premium not to mention Healthy, Gluten Free, Fair Trade, etc.

In one country, we see growth of premium, as well as in first price. In another country, it’s all about hard discount and imitating the Aldi model. In another, it’s imitating Trader Joe’s, or Costco. There is no “one size fits all,” even though the macroeconomic position of many continents really is depressed.

What does this all mean for retailers and manufacturers as they struggle to launch new products, get them to market faster, reduce costs, increase volumes, change packaging, create new brands and at the same time, try to strengthen partnership and relationships throughout the supply chain?

I was in a room with a bunch of manufacturers and retailers this week. All are engaged in launching new products at an increasing pace. I asked them about their project management approach in their collaborative efforts. Their adoption of business process improvement to provide transparency across the organization to all stage and gate tracking. The challenge of keeping tight and consistent access to a single version of “the truth” increasingly is daunting as the complexity of our new product development needs expand.

The bottom line with this group was that the majority were not working with retailers that were using sophisticated “lifecycle management” software. I asked about retailers getting access to specific ingredients being used across multiple products. The general answer was “good luck with that!”

This all tells me that now is the time every retailer needs a strategy for analyzing their business processes as related to managing the innovation pipeline of new products. As retailers seek (and do they ever need to!) new types of partnerships with their suppliers, as they press their teams to speed up launches, they need new types of support. Working better, faster and smarter cannot be achieved with extra effort. It can only be achieved by a strategic plan towards introducing new technology.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Private Label Buyer.

Recent Articles by Tom Stephens

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

September 2014 New Food Products

This month's new food products include cane sugars, barbeque sauce, condiments in squeeze bottles, cinnamon snack seasoning, and jalapeno tzatziki, ice cream, herb toasts, corn puffs, instant coffee, coconut water, and a water enhancer.


Coming with a clear, comprehensive plan was the key to success for Longo Brothers Fruit Markets when the grocer decided to roll out a two-tier private label strategy, Jenny Longo and Robert Koss tell PLBuyer editor Chris Freeman in this podcast.

More Podcasts

Private Label Buyer Magazine

PLB September 2014 cover

September 2014

The September 2014 issue of Private Label Buyer includes a convenience channel update, as well as category insights on frozen store brand trends and health and beauty items. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Private Label Segments

Which segment of private label will see the biggest growth over the next year?
View Results Poll Archive

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

PLB Marketplace


facebook_40px twitter_40px  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40pxgoogle+ icon 40px