ITW with Nelly GRAFF, Private labels Marketing Manager, Intermarché
What is the Intermarché strategy concerning private brands?
Our strategy harks back to the founding principles of Intermarché: independence and keeping down the cost of living. This means that our private brands really are our own, with quality products manufactured in our own factories, to optimise the costs and phases of production, for better control and transparency. As a result, our brands are renowned and clearly identified by the consumer, examples being Monique Ranou and Jean Rosier, to name but two. These are brands that have a soul!
How does this strategy mark you out from your competitors?
We don't have store brands. We have our own private brands. As well as the benefits that this gives us in terms of price and quality, it allows us to react more quickly in terms of innovation, to match consumer tastes, and in this way ride the wave of the latest food trends. The vegan trend is one such example.
How are private food brands doing in France?
They have been in difficulty for several years, and I believe there are two major reasons for this. The first lies in the proliferation of promotions among the national brands; the second in the price war that has narrowed the differences in price between store brands and national brands.
How do you see things going in the future? And what are the ingredients of success for a store brand in France, in your opinion?
The end of national brand promotions signals the return to the forefront of the store brand. 2018 should therefore see things looking up! Success is within reach: provided that sufficient account is taken of consumer expectations, offering stand-out products with good health credentials. Another requirement that we must not lose sight of is the sound management of the industrial channels from A to Z!
ITW with Marie-France GIBSON, VP Private labels, Metro Canada
To what extent is Metro an important private brands player in Canada, when it comes to food?
Metro is present in two of the country's biggest regions, Ontario and Quebec, and is the third-largest retailer in the country as a whole. On the supermarket side, our offering is built around both local stores and discount outlets. And with around 20% market share for private brands, we are the second-largest operator. Despite a growing supply side and increased competition, Metro is pursuing its product development approach, with health considerations a particular focus.
Is the health trend strong in Canada?
It is indeed a growing trend. Consumers today tend to go for products that are high on quality and that offer health guarantees. Private brands take account of this, enabling extra effort to be ploughed into innovation, with increasingly sophisticated products.
How do you go about procurement?
We focus more and more on local produce, to further improve the traceability of products and meet the requirements of our customers, who are increasingly attentive to sustainable development and respect for the environment.
What are the other specific characteristics of the Canadian market, and what are the ingredients for success?
In Canada, I feel is important to adopt a highly segmented approach, with offerings spanning the premium, entry-level and intermediate ranges. Yet, whatever the range, the product needs to cater to Canadian tastes, proposing quality ingredients that are clearly labelled on the packaging!