Private Brands Summit Logo

By: Doug Baker, Vice President, Private Brands, Food Marketing Institute


At FMI Connect, FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin pointed to trends in the industry that demonstrate how the supermarket is a microcosm of the world. We also learned from her presentation that there’s a unique opportunity for food retailers to become trusted allies in helping shoppers navigate the aisles, most notably regarding their attitudes around wellness.

As brand owners, the opportunity exists for us to mirror the desires and lifestyles of our customers through our private brand offerings—to go from selling to customers to inspiring them. At the Private Brands Summit we held in conjunction with FMI Connect, three themes stood out:

  • Focus on the customer – When developing your private brand, focus on consumer lifestyle.  Take advantage of the opportunities consumers create for your private brand, such as wellness.
  • It’s more than a package –Private brands should offer an experience. Take your products off the shelf and see how customers can engage with them throughout the store.  For example, rethink a coffee display in the aisle by creating a café experience for customers on the go.
  • The definition of “value” is changing – Consumers, with Millennial leading the charge, are asking for private brands to be about more than just a low price or fast follower of national brands. They want private brands to differentiate themselves from mainstream brands and offer more. Ask yourself, “What does my private brand stand for and does it align with my customer’s value system?”
Overall, the message from the Summit was clear: consumers want private brands that push the envelope and connect with them. To learn more about FMI’s Private Brand resources, visit