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    Store Brands and FMI kick off webinar series on March 29

    First of four webinars will focus on key components of private brands at the register

    Kristof Duna and Mark McKeown will participate in the first webinar, “From the Register: Looking Deeper for Answers."

    Next week Store Brands will kick off its four-part “The Power of Private Brands” webinar series with “From the Register: Looking Deeper for Answers, set for Wednesday, March 29, at 2 p.m. It features Kristof Duna, director of private brands for Merchants Distributors (MDI) and Lowes Foods, and Mark McKeown, client insights principal for IRI. Registration is open at The Power of Private Brands.

    Store Brands is teaming with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) to present the webinar series, which focuses on various facets from the recent report, “The Power of Private Brands,” from the FMI’s Private Brand Leadership Council. The report confirmed that private label sales at supermarkets and regional grocers — hampered by deflation and a decline in supermarket trips — haven’t kept up with national brand sales the last two years. But the report, which FMI conducted in conjunction with Information Resources Inc. (IRI) and Daymon, stresses that supermarkets and grocers can take advantage of the growth potential of private label by customizing products, recognizing the need to invest to drive store brand innovation and embracing a wider range of promotional vehicles, including emerging social media platforms.

    Duna is also co-chair of the FMI Private Brand Leadership Council’s research and education committee. He oversees private brands at MDI, a privately owned wholesale grocer headquartered in Hickory, N.C., that supplies more than 600 retail food stores in 11 states with food and non-food items, and Lowes Foods, a Winston Salem, N.C.-based supermarket chain and sister company of MDI that operates 80 stores throughout the Carolinas. Prior to joining MDI/Lowes Foods, Duna held a number of positions over a 10-year span at Aldi Inc., both in the U.S. and Europe.

    McKeown is a leader in IRI’s private label manufacturing practice in North America. McKeown led the research and produced the insights in the “From the Register” and “From the Consumer” sections of “The Power of Private Brands” report, released in January.

    In the webinar, Duna and McKeown will discuss:

    • Why the performance gap between private brands and national brands has widened.

    • The effect on private brand of deflationary pressure and fewer shopper trips.

    • Why club and mass retailers are capturing increased own brand share from supermarkets.

    • Why organic represents a growing segment of the private brands industry.

    • Why the mainstream and premium segments will be keys to the success of private label in supermarkets.

    • Why three segments in the private brands frozen department grew in the past year.

    • The effect of an increase in percent of sales promotion in private brands —about twice as much as the overall food business.

    The webinar series is moderated by Kevin Francella, brand director for Store Brands.

    More information on the webinar program can be found at Store Brands webinars.

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