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From Design to AI: 10 Key Takeaways From the 2023 Velocity Conference

By David Orgel

Speakers at this year’s Velocity Conference spotlighted the latest Retailer-Owned Brand (Private Brand) trends and perspectives on consumer behaviors , design, brand development, and innovation. Presenters included executives from Sprouts Farmers Markets, Wakefern Food Corp., Albertsons, Rite Aid, CVS Health, Navy Exchange, and Foxtrot.

Here are the first five key takeaways from speakers at the Charlotte, N.C.-based conference.

1. Support Individual Health Journeys:

Sprouts, which operates 395 stores across 23 states, curates its Private Brand-focused assortments to enable customers to “Find Your Healthy,” said Jac Ross, the retailer’s Vice President. “Find Your Healthy has a completely different interpretation for different people,” she added. “Our aspiration is to be the most innovative health and wellness food retailer in the country.”

2. Celebrate a Decade of Design:

Velocity celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Vertex Awards for Private Brand packaging design. “The Awards have captured the talent of designers and the strong commitments of their retail organizations,” said Christopher Durham, President of Velocity Institute, who co-founded the awards with Phil Russo, Publisher, Global Retail Brands magazine. See all this years winners.

3. Establish Brand Guardrails:

Albertsons tapped into consumer insights in reinvigorating and reimagining three of its key Private Brands over the past couple of years. The retailer fine-tuned the scope of the brands — O Organics, Open Nature and Signature Select. “We wanted to make sure each brand had its own guard rails,” said Katie, Ceclan, Vice President, Own Brands. “Some products no longer made sense for some brands.”

4. Trust but Verify:

CVS Health is highly focused on product testing to ensure quality, safety, efficacy, and transparency, said Mike Wier, Sr. Director (DMM) Consumer Health and Wellness. “We must make sure that what we say on the package is true,” he said. “We’re focused on delivering on the customer promise.”

5. Aim for Continuous Improvement:

A retailer’s work doesn’t end after a Private Brand is launched or relaunched. Wakefern has been further evolving its Own Brand design since the start of its big repositioning in late 2019, said Glenn Pfeifer, Senior Design & Packaging Manager, Own Brands. “The initial launch helped shoppers understand what we were doing and promising,” he said. “When we moved to something even more vibrant and colorful, shoppers took that leap with us.”

Look for the second five key takeaways tomorrow.

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By Published On: June 1st, 2023Tags:

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About the Author: David Orgel

David is a veteran B2B journalist and content strategist now working as an award-winning writer and editor skills with deep expertise in the food, retail, and CPG industries. David was the longtime editorial leader of Supermarket News, and also held top content positions at B2B brands serving other retail sectors. Recent honors include a National Gold Award for analysis/commentary from American Society of Business Publication Editors, and a Neal Award finalist designation for Best Media Brand (Overall Editorial Excellence) while I was the top editor at Supermarket News.

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