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Store Brands 2012: The Food Network

I’m always in search of recipes that are healthy, but also tasty and, most importantly, easy to make.

Over the past few months, I’ve found help not from cookbooks or women’s magazines, but supermarket websites.

One of my favorites is ShopRite’s Potluck blog, a compilation of recipes by real moms and home cooks. All recipes have one thing in common: they include a ShopRite private-label item. ShopRite provides bloggers with free products, then asks them to incorporate them into recipes and blog posts.

I immediately ran to ShopRite after I read a recipe for “Almond Crusted Tilapia.” My reason: It was healthy, sounded delicious, and required just a few ingredients.

Key to the recipe was ShopRite imported basting oil. The blog described the oil in detail, stating how it’s made in Italy, and infused with garlic, thyme and parsley. I was sold.

ShopRite enticed me to purchase the product because it didn’t merely tell me how great the basting oil is; it gave me a way to use it.

There’s similar thinking behind PLMA’s, PLMA’s first consumer communications initiative.

Slated to go live next month, will feature video cooking demonstrations showing how private-label ingredients from Safeway, Kroger, Stop & Shop, Giant Eagle and other food retailers can be combined to make creations like chocolate coffee mousse and a breakfast strata.

PLMA’s and ShopRite’s recipe blogs are two examples of how to market private brands in a new way. By showing how an ingredient can be used, the industry can capture new consumers who may not have consider private label before.

This supplement is filled with other stories that exemplify this strategy. SN’s annual “Top 10 Store Brand Promotions” details how retailers use YouTube videos, Facebook contests, online blogs and Twitter accounts to communicate the quality and value of private label.

Speaking of social media, there’s also a new PLMA study about how consumers use Twitter, Facebook and the like for product purchases.

It’s also important to understand how store brands are treated in other classes of trade. Just take a look at this story, which reveals how drug stores have refined their store-brand lines in an effort to build consumer loyalty.

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