Brookshire's Focuses on Private-Label Bakery

Over the past year, Brookshire Grocery Co, here has been developing and launching new lines of cheesecakes, loaf cakes and, more recently, cookies. The new lines of cheesecakes and loaf cakes were launched under its premium Brookshire's Best label, while the new line of cookies was launched under its Food Club label. All of these product launches fall under the umbrella of driving the

TYLER, Texas — Over the past year, Brookshire Grocery Co, here has been developing and launching new lines of cheesecakes, loaf cakes and, more recently, cookies.

The new lines of cheesecakes and loaf cakes were launched under its premium Brookshire's Best label, while the new line of cookies was launched under its Food Club label. All of these product launches fall under the umbrella of driving the company's store-brand initiative, John Rose, bakery category manager for the retailer, told SN.

“We are very committed to developing product lines that are specific to our bakery program,” Rose said. “That is, we want our customers to enjoy exciting bakery goodies that are sold under our Topco family of brands — Full Circle, World Classics, Food Club or Value Time — or under our own Tasty Bakery logo.”

Rose said that the Tasty Bakery logo differentiates the retailer from its competitors.

“National brands tend to be ubiquitous across the retailing landscape, while our own brands are unique to our stores and market area,” he said. “In the bakery department, we see store brands as a means to develop our bakery program rather than being a ‘me too’ operator.”

The Brookshire's Best loaf cakes are available in several varieties, such as banana walnut, blackberry cobbler, carrot spice, orange and peach praline.

“We tried a host of different flavors and opted for some that were considered traditional, but also offered other, more unique varieties as well,” Rose said.

The Brookshire's Best cheesecakes also come in a variety of flavors including caramel apple, caramel fudge, pumpkin, strawberry swirl and turtle. The Food Club line of cookies come in five more traditional varieties including chocolate chip, chocolate candy, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter and sugar.

Rose said that the company's store brands were in the nascent stage about three years ago, but have since become an established part of the company's business model.

“To the credit of our board of directors and chief executive officer, Rick Rayford, Brookshire's has rapidly become a leading member in the Topco organization,” Rose told SN.

In this case, all three lines of store-brand cheesecakes, loaf cakes and cookies have been very popular with customers as evidenced by excellent repeat sales, he added.

“As you know, the proverbial phrase from John Steinbeck, ‘best made plans of mice and men,’ are only as good as the frequency of repeat purchases,” Rose said.

“Certainly, all of us as consumers appreciate a great value, which is true in the bakery business as well. Thus, by offering products that are unique to BGC, which provide a great value with great quality, everyone wins.”

Rose noted that in the past year, Brookshire's bakery has seen a lot of growth in artisan breads. The retailer is working on more Full Circle offerings in its bread category, along with some other projects that it has yet to disclose. It chose to develop the store-brand lines of cheesecakes, loaf cakes and cookies because it felt those were categories that needed some differentiation and a noteworthy contribution could be made to if it developed high-quality lines with great marketing.

“It could probably be said that the bakery business is the antithesis of remaining static, or it should be,” Rose said.

“While there are certainly core products that provide a quotidian sales platform for the overall program, customers must continually be presented with new and exciting products. Much of this can be realized by having a strong store-brands program that provides customers new and different choices. This affords us the opportunity to be creative and definitive in how we go about scripting our bakery program.”