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Loblaws PC Insiders Report Turns 40! +News from ASDA, PETSMART & TOPCO

Welcome to Velocity this Week, your weekly dose of private brand news and insights. I’m Christopher Durham, and today we’ll be diving into the latest stories from the world of retailer-owned brands. From Asda’s revolutionary ready meal range to PetSmart’s holiday shop and Loblaw’s 40th anniversary celebration, there’s plenty to explore. So let’s get started!

Asda’s Ready Meal Range: Bringing Restaurant Quality to Your Home

British retailer Asda is shaking up weeknight meals with its new retailer-owned brand ready meal range. The launch of brands like Baha’I, House of Yum Bistro, and Takeout Club aims to provide restaurant-quality food at home, catering to time-poor Brits seeking flavorful weekday meals. Sam Dixon, Asda’s VP of own brand commercial strategy and operations, explains the motivation behind the launch:

“We know that households are facing tighter budgets and as a result, they’re being forced to cut back on eating out and ordering takeaways or takeouts. So we wanted to bring an offering to the table that meant people could enjoy restaurant quality food at home free of fuss or experience.”

The new range includes Indian, Pan Asian, and international meals, each designed to inspire and delight. Dixon emphasizes the effort put into developing these products:

“We worked really hard while developing this range to push ourselves and benchmark the products outside of their traditional competitor set. Instead, we pushed ourselves to develop quality, tasty products that would give restaurants and takeaway chains a run for their money.”

Let’s take a closer look at the new ranges:

  • Bom Bahia by Asda: An Indian-inspired line featuring Tandoori smoked butter chicken and Dal Rice fried chicken, among other delicious options.
  • House of Yum By Asda: The Pan Asian range includes dishes inspired by Thai, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine, such as beef teriyaki and ginger and onion fried rice.
  • Bistro by Asda: Elevates pub favorites and Italian-inspired dishes, including fish pie, chili prawn buccattini, and runny Scotch eggs.
  • The Takeout Club by Asda: A sub-brand that offers a range of pizzas, sides, and desserts, competing with local pizza and delivery shops.

PetSmart’s Holiday Shop: Celebrating the Season with Your Furry Friends

Pet specialty retailer PetSmart is transforming into the ultimate holiday destination for pet owners. The Holiday Shop offers a wide range of festive apparel, toys, treats, grooming services, and hotel stays. Stacey Anderson, chief customer officer at PetSmart, explains the motivation behind the holiday collection:

“During the holidays, people want to celebrate and shower their friends and families, and that includes their pets, with loving and meaningful gifts. It’s also the time of year we come together to give back to our local communities. We know that this year families are seeking out value without sacrificing on quality and delights. I’m proud that our holiday collection includes fresh and irresistible products at price points that make it easy for people to include their pets in all their holiday traditions.”

The collection includes pet advent calendars, festive apparel, fun toys, holiday treats, and even grooming services. PetSmart also offers a chance to give back through their Chance and Friends collection, supporting PetSmart Charity’s mission to make the world a better place for pets. Families can count down the days with Advent calendars designed for dogs, cats, and small animals.

Topco’s Collaboration with Hallmark Channel: Spreading Holiday Cheer

Members of Topco are partnering with Hallmark Channel for its Countdown to Christmas promotion. Brands like Craven Flavor, Food Club, and Wide Awake Coffee Company will bring festive peppermint-flavored treats to regional retailers and independent grocers across the nation. Boyd Irving, VP of Exclusive Brands for Associate Food Stores and Topco member, shares his excitement about the partnership:

“This partnership with Hallmark is an exciting opportunity to build awareness of these brands as well as the limited-time offer items available during the holiday season with our shoppers. The peppermint-flavored items from these brands are a natural match for the holiday movie-watching season.”

The limited-time offer items include Craven Flavor Candy Cane sandwich cookies, Food Club Peppermint ice cream and Peppermint twists, and Wide Awake Coffee Company Peppermint Stick coffee. The brands will also be part of Hallmark’s Very Merry Giveaway, offering special prizes each day during its countdown to Christmas. Additionally, each brand will have a social media giveaway for shoppers, complete with Hallmark Channel-themed prizes.

Loblaw’s 40th Anniversary Edition of the PC Insiders Report: A Holiday Feast

Loblaw and President’s Choice are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the PC Insiders Report with a bang. The highly anticipated edition features over 100 new PC products and a dozen customer favorites brought back specifically for the holiday season. Mary MacIsaac, Senior Vice President, Loblaw Brands and Marketing, Loblaw Companies Limited, shares her excitement about the holiday assortment:

“Get ready to discover your best holiday yet. We honored the past four decades of the PC Insiders report by bringing customers our biggest and best holiday assortment of PC products in our history. We’ve thought of everything to make your holiday entertaining easier and more delicious, including bringing back some favorites we’ve heard our customers missed.”

The new products in this edition include PC Eggplant Parmesana, Thai Basil Shrimp Spring Rolls, Holiday Feast Turkey Stuffing Burgers, Cauliflower Gnocchi Ready to bake, all butter croissants, Candy Cane Cookie Dough Ice cream bites, and PC World of flavors Turkey stuffing flavored ripple potato chips.

Conclusion: A Feast of Private Brand Innovations

In conclusion, the private brand landscape is brimming with exciting innovations and offerings. Asda’s ready meal range brings restaurant-quality food to the comfort of your home, while PetSmart’s holiday shop ensures your furry friends can join in the festive celebrations. Topco’s collaboration with Hallmark Channel spreads holiday cheer with peppermint-flavored treats, and Loblaw’s 40th anniversary edition of the PC Insiders Report promises a holiday feast like no other.

These developments not only cater to consumer needs but also showcase the power of private brands in delivering quality, value, and unique experiences. As retailers continue to invest in their private brand offerings, we can expect even more exciting developments in the future. So stay tuned for the latest updates and join us every week for more private brand news and insights on Velocity This Week.



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About the Author: Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of the Velocity Institute. Prior to this he founded the groundbreaking site My Private Brand. He is the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He began his retail career building brands at Food Lion and Lowe’s Home Improvement. Durham has worked with retailers around the world, including Albertsons, Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro Canada. Durham has published seven definitive books on private brands, including Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project and Vanguard: Vintage Originals.



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