Simultaneously tapping into two retail trends, diversity and private label, Ahold Delhaize USA’s Peapod Digital Labs has launched an Incubator Program for certified diverse-owned suppliers to develop new, exceptional-quality private-brand products.
“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,” said Ian Prisuta, senior vice president of private brands at Peapod Digital Labs. “I’m confident there are suppliers that we haven’t engaged with yet that would be a valuable addition to our private-brand portfolio, and the entire private-brands team is excited for the opportunity to develop new relationships with those businesses.”
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During the two-and-a-half-month Incubator Program, the chosen participants will learn from the company’s private-brands team about the private-brand structure and goals, and will grow their knowledge of the brands of Ahold Delhaize USA. 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 personal private-brand mentors, who will help them prepare for their final product pitch.
FMI - The Food Industry Association’s recent “Power of Private Brands” report details the myriad reasons that shoppers choose private-brand grocery products – and those reasons now go beyond price. While 55% of consumers say they buy private brands because they're less expensive, quality, taste, sustainability and health and well-being are also driving purchases. Among the consumers buying more private brands, some 66% of shoppers say that quality is important when choosing private-brand items, while about 43% say that they buy store brands because of their quality.
Peapod Digital Labs’ Incubator Program application process is open now and will close on Aug. 5. The application link and other information can be found online. Applicants must not currently offer private-brand items to any brand of Ahold Delhaize USA.
[Read More: Ahold Delhaize reports strong digital sales in Q4]
The program will culminate in November with a livestreamed event, during which participants will present their product recommendations at Peapod Digital Labs’ Innovation Center in Rhode Island. Suppliers not chosen for the incubator will still be accessible through the RangeMe registration tools and may be reviewed by Peapod Digital Labs again in the future as business needs change.
Peapod Digital Labs is the digital, e-commerce and commercial engine of Ahold Delhaize USA, serving as the innovation lab for Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Co., Hannaford, and Stop & Shop. Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, operates more than 2,000 stores across 23 states.
This story originally appeared on Progressive Grocer.