ECR EXPECTED TO NARROW GAP IN PRICING

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Efficient Consumer Response should help stabilize grocery prices and reduce the lower-cost benefit that many private-label items now enjoy, said two executives speaking at the ninth annual Information Resources Inc. Apollo Users Group International conference."I tend to think the gap between branded and private label will narrow and not increase as a result of ECR," said Jim Hooks,

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Efficient Consumer Response should help stabilize grocery prices and reduce the lower-cost benefit that many private-label items now enjoy, said two executives speaking at the ninth annual Information Resources Inc. Apollo Users Group International conference.

"I tend to think the gap between branded and private label will narrow and not increase as a result of ECR," said Jim Hooks, vice president of trade development at Continental Baking Co., St. Louis.

Rich

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