Sourcing Sophistication for Today’s New Retail LandscapeJuly 6, 2017
In today’s changing retail landscape, retailers and suppliers of consumer goods are facing a balancing act between maintaining profitability, improving the consumer experience and keeping Private Brands from falling victim to the changing times.
As part of the Daymon Global Sourcing team’s ongoing work identifying trends and solutions for its Private Brand partners, Asmita Pahwa, Senior Director of Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Management for Daymon, says a common theme has begun to emerge over the past six months. “Many of the most effective, consumer-centric solutions we’re seeing all revolve around one paradoxically simple concept: sophistication. Only by elevating itself and staying on-trend can private label continue to compete effectively.”
One way Pahwa says retailers can improve the sophistication of their Private Brands is by reformulating products or introducing new options that prioritize the use of sustainable ingredients and materials. “Sustainability is high on the agenda for consumers, and as a result, innovative brands are working to deliver eco-conscious and recycled/recyclable solutions across all categories, from cleaning products and home goods to pet food packaging and toys,” she explains.
A related trend is the development of products that use more sustainable, plant-based protein sources. Protein continues to be a hot commodity for consumers. And while fresh meat and dairy tend to be the main contributors to protein purchases in the world’s top packaged food markets, consumers are increasingly coming to understand that plant-based proteins use less water and are less harmful to the environment to produce.
“Peas, lentils, hemp, seaweed and ancient grains, such as chia, buckwheat and amaranth, are some of the more promising future sources,” explains Pahwa. These ingredients are already being used by some producers to elevate traditionally low-protein products to the high-protein sphere. Examples include pastas made from lentils, black beans and/or ancient grains to provide at least 20 grams of protein per serving—more than twice that of most wheat-based pastas.
The demand for better sources of protein is part of a larger trend toward naturally-driven wellness. “Clean eating continues to permeate new demographics, and organic and sustainable food sales are steadily rising for at-home chefs,” says Pahwa. “Consumers increasingly believe that nature has created foods that are perfect, and want to eat them in as close to their natural state as possible.”
As a result, there is a growing preference for foods that are inherently nutritious (superfoods) and do not require fortification or augmentation. This belief is driving growth in fresh categories and the clean-label/free-from category. It’s also extending to the pet market, with an increasing number of natural, vegan, vegetarian and grain-/gluten-free options food offerings. Even beauty is getting on the bandwagon. According to Pahwa, vegan beauty products took the spotlight at Cosmoprof 2017, a leading global beauty trade show, with everything from vegan hair and face oils to nail polish on display.
“As Amazon continues to commoditize the grocery industry, evidenced by its recent nearly $14 billion bid for Whole Foods, traditional retailers are going to need to innovate and differentiate their product assortment. Sourcing more sophisticated Private Brand offerings that better reflect consumers’ core values around diversity, the environment and societal issues is one of the best ways retailers can achieve this—and deliver the more personalized experience today’s shoppers demand,” concludes Pahwa.
To learn more about Daymon global sourcing solutions, contact Asmita Pahwa, Senior Director, Global Sourcing and Supply Chain Operations at email@example.com.