FMI Launches Private Label Initiative

November 19, 2008
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The new initiative will provide industrywide leadership, education and advocacy for private label food products.

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Arlington, Va., announced the launch of a global initiative aimed at the private brand products sector. FMI said its board approved the initiative - designed to provide industrywide leadership, education and advocacy for private brand products - at its meeting in October.

“This initiative is a call to action for all sectors of the industry and all classes of retail trade to highlight the exceptional value of store brands to consumers, especially in these challenging economic times,” said Leslie G. Sarasin, FMI president and CEO. “FMI will work with retailers, wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers and other trading partners to facilitate innovation and increase consumer awareness of private brand products.”

The initiative’s mission parallels that of FMI’s - to promote policies, programs and learning opportunities in industry cooperation, education, food safety, public and consumer information, and government relations. FMI said a Private Brands Group comprising retailers, wholesalers, distributors and suppliers, all with equal voting rights, will guide the program and report directly to FMI’s board of directors.

“This initiative will allow our entire industry to speak with one voice to educate consumers, public officials and the retailing industry at large about the importance of private brand products,” said Steve Smith, chairman and CEO of Abingdon, Va.-based K-VA-T Food Stores and FMI’s board chair.

Our Take: Great idea, at least when it comes to the food side of private label. But consumer education in the quality arena will be key to growth on the non-food side as well.

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