As America has learned to navigate new and unusual changes over the past year, clarity has been brought to certain aspects of how the food industry could (and should) operate more effectively. For us at Rudolph Foods, our primary mission has remained the same — to provide both our customers and consumers with the peace of mind they need to march forward. We believe it to be our responsibility to keep America fed and food on the shelf.
While private label trends may have shifted with general shopper trends, it’s increasingly important to recognize the long-term changes that can help the food industry to not only “make it through” challenging times, but also thrive — all while offering true support for Americans everywhere.
Today, the private label category demonstrates its dominance month over month with consistent growth. Case in point, it has seen an increase in the demand for and prevalence of snack foods. Private label pork rinds, specifically, now have about 15% of overall grocery share — demonstrating the rise in consumer perception of both pork rinds as a niche and private label consumer packaged goods. Moreover, this trend speaks to U.S. retailers’ adoption of the private label focus of their European counterparts.
Understanding the evolution of the private label category, overall, has helped to adapt to its unique needs in managing its growth. In a concerted period of time, we’ve experienced confirmation of many of the best practices that have made us strong and successful manufacturing partners. Below are just a few:
Commit to being a true partner.
As a manufacturer and a retailer build their relationship, trust is key in ensuring it’s a lasting one. For those leading the way in the private label category, these relationships are nothing short of a priority. Manufacturers must realize they’re much more than vendors. In fact, they’re partners in the retailer’s success.
Retailers depend on their manufacturing partners to keep their shelves stocked, so it’s critical that they have a clear forecast, good visibility and even updated data to help predict upcoming shopper needs, consumer trends and more. To become a true partner in this area, manufacturing partners can work with their retailers frequently to analyze predictive data four to six weeks out to make sure product is in the right place, at the right time.
Data gathered by manufacturing partners, such as AC Nielsen data, should be analyzed and disseminated to retail partners. Take a closer look at how their private label product is performing, as compared to their competitive counterparts — this actionable intelligence can help a brand pivot, as needed, and move more product off the shelves. For key manufacturers, producing private label products shouldn’t be the end of the story. Our goal is to bring awareness to the product, adapt and innovate to make the product as relevant as possible, all while putting something of superior quality on the shelf.