SHAW'S EXPANDS SIGNATURE BRAND LINE

WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Shaw's Supermarkets here has been growing its premium line of private label, called the Signature Brand, and now has 300 items on the shelves of Shaw's and its Star Markets stores throughout New England.The line made its debut last June, with summertime products such as fruit juice bars, salad dressings and marinades.The addition of the Signature line gave Shaw's three private-label

WEST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Shaw's Supermarkets here has been growing its premium line of private label, called the Signature Brand, and now has 300 items on the shelves of Shaw's and its Star Markets stores throughout New England.

The line made its debut last June, with summertime products such as fruit juice bars, salad dressings and marinades.

The addition of the Signature line gave Shaw's three private-label lines. Also carried is the Wild Harvest label, which is comprised of natural products and Shaw's Own Brand, the chain's first private label -- introduced in 1990 -- which now accounts for 25% of items on store shelves.

"Signature is a far more selective range," said Shaw's spokesman Bernie Rogan. Some products are a reformulation of existing Shaw's Own Brand, while others are new items that have been especially developed by Shaw's. Shaw's worked with Daymon Associates, Stamford, Conn., and its own category managers to come up with the new items. Categories like coffee, olive oil, vinegar, premium ice cream, premium frozen pizza, and cookies in flavors like Macadamia Nut and Key Lime are offered, while household cleaning products are not.

Pricing varies according to category, but Rogan said all private label is at least 10% less than the national brand, but often 20% or more below it, such as with cereal.