- Giant Food introduced a new private label pork brand with no antibiotics, according to a company press release. In addition to containing zero antibiotics and hormones, the product is 100% vegetarian fed.
- The “No Antibiotics Ever” private label pork brand is the latest to be offered by the grocer, a unit of Ahold Delhaize. Last Thanksgiving, Giant introduced its Nature’s Promise brand antibiotic and growth hormone-free turkeys.
- “With this addition, we further promote our commitment to providing customers with the highest quality fresh pork products that allow them to eat well while saving money,” Gordon Reid, president of Giant Food, said in a statement.
The rise in demand for private labels has been a major driving force for food and grocery businesses in recent years. During the recession, many consumers turned to private label brands because they allowed them to have greater buying power. When the recession ended, many of those same shoppers stuck with private labels instead of returning to the brand-name equivalents. On average, shoppers save $30 billion annually by choosing store brands, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.
American grocers lag behind their European counterparts when it comes to the prevalence of private labels, Nielsen estimates. In the U.S., just 19% of the market share comes from private labels compared to 41% in the United Kingdom. However, American retailers see the growing demand for private labels and the profits they can make off them. As a result, many are expanding and revamping their private label offerings, just like Giant, to get in on the trend.
Consumers are buying more private labels, but do they trust them? A report from Trace One showed consumers find national brands more trustworthy. In addition, more than 85% of shoppers buy private label products multiple times a month, but 69% say national brands are more innovative. It seems consumers are comfortable buying store brand ketchup, but would turn to a trusted brand such as Kraft Heinz for the latest flavor combination like Sriracha ketchup.
Cheap prices aren’t enough to get consumers to try certain new private label products. As with the “No Antibiotics Ever” promise that Giant is making with its new pork line, consumers want to know the company is making a commitment to both their health and animal welfare. In this case, it would be easy for a shopper to pick up the Giant brand pork over a name brand competitor.
Antibiotic free meat is enjoying an upward swing, just like private labels. Major poultry producers, like Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride and Perdue have all committed to reducing or removing antibiotics from their chicken supply. However, not everyone is on board. Sanderson Farms is sticking with antibiotic use, and has launched multiple ad campaigns extolling the virtues of the practice. There is growing public concern that consuming meat or dairy products from animals treated with antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance in humans.
With consumers looking for clean label products and more willing to purchase private label brands, expect other grocers like Giant to roll out additional items in keeping with these trends.