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Safeway Adopts Innovation Model for PL

CHICAGO — Safeway is adhering to a new private-brand innovation model that borrows from national brand marketers while leveraging assets that are unique to retailers.

"What we're trying to do is build bigger and better brands faster and serve our consumers better," Alex Petrov, vice president of consumer brands for Safeway told attendees at the Private Brand Movement conference here Tuesday.

In the last 15 months, over 1,200 products have been tested and hundreds reformulated or discontinued for falling short of new quality standards, he said.

The model's key tenets emphasize true shopper insights; real innovation instead of national brand replication; a shift to quality that is better than levels achieved by national brands; and more collaborative relationships with suppliers.

"It has elements of CPG, but it’s not entirely CPG," Petrov said. "It's not the old retail private label either. It's something new."