Sustainable Store Brands

Private-label baby and kids' lines can be more than just healthy, less expensive alternatives to national brands.

Private-label baby and kids' lines can be more than just healthy, less expensive alternatives to national brands. Through proper product selection, retailers can strengthen their core brand images, said Tom Mosk, director of private label for the Fantasy Cookie Co., Sylmar, Calif., manufacturer of store-brand cookies.

“Retailers have a lot of choices when developing a private-label line,” he said. “Each choice gives them the opportunity to make a statement to their shoppers that reinforces what their brands are all about.”

Fantasy Cookie Co. is currently working on a line of organic, penguin- and polar bear-shaped cookies commissioned by a retailer to help promote the chain's commitment to kids and to helping save the Arctic and Antarctic environments.

The cookie-maker also offers the option of using energy from a local wind farm to help manufacture products.

“There is a huge opportunity for retailers to reinforce their own image through private label while tapping into key trends,” said Ted Taft, managing director, Meridian Consulting Group, Westport, Conn. “Two big trends now are organics and production that is environmentally friendly.”

Sainsbury's, for one, has latched onto the concept. The U.K.-based retailer will introduce several new socially responsible items into its Sainsbury's Kids line in February of next year, including an assortment of British-produced meats, Marine Stewardship Council-certified fish and free-range eggs.
— K.G.