Peapod Digital Labs, the e-commerce, digital and commercial solutions arm of Ahold Delhaize USA, has launched an incubator program to target diverse suppliers for its private-label portfolio.
Chicago-based Peapod said yesterday the incubator aims to develop new, top-quality, store-brand products in partnership with certified, diverse-owned suppliers. In the two-and-a-half-month program, the selected participants will learn from Peapod’s private-brand team about the own-brand structure and goals, will grow their knowledge of the brands of Ahold Delhaize USA, and, ultimately, will propose product concepts for consideration.
Participants chosen for the incubator will get a concentrated look at Peapod Digital Labs and the brands of Ahold Delhaize USA, Peapod noted. The program will include educational sessions and discussions on best practices with various functional subject-matter experts. Participants will also be paired with their own private-label mentors, who will help them prepare for their final pitch.
“Through this program, we’re hoping to identify a select number of innovative food and beverage manufacturing companies with products made from high-quality, distinctive ingredients or healthy options that will appeal to the widely diverse customers of the brands of Ahold Delhaize USA,” Ian Prisuta, senior vice president of private brands at Peapod Digital Labs, said in a statement.
Prisuta joined Peapod Digital Labs in February to oversee its own-brands team. “I’m confident there are suppliers that we haven’t engaged with yet that would be a valuable addition to our private-brand portfolio,” he added, “and the entire private-brands team is excited for the opportunity to develop new relationships with those businesses.”
Supplier applications to the incubator must be received before Aug. 5, Peapod said. Applicants must not currently offer Private Brand items to any brand of Ahold Delhaize USA. At a livestream event in November, selected vendors will present their product recommendations at the Peapod Digital Labs Innovation Center in Rhode Island. The company added that suppliers not chosen for the incubator will still be accessible through RangeMe registration tools and may be reviewed by Peapod again in the future as business needs change.
In March, Peapod Digital Labs implemented a cloud-based platform from Trace One to provide an easy-access destination for its private-brand product and packaging specifications. Under a pilot program, the online platform was used to manage product formulation, labeling statements and claims, quality and testing parameters, and packaging substrate data to promote regulatory compliance, satisfy company standards and meet consumer expectations. Starting in June, all private-brand product suppliers are required to use the new system, Peapod reported.
Overall, Ahold Delhaize USA operates 2,046 grocery stores on the East Coast through its Stop & Shop, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Food Lion and Hannaford chains. The company’s subsidiaries also include online grocer FreshDirect and support operations Retail Business Services and Peapod Digital Labs.