Wakefern Food Corp.’s strategic revamping of its own brand portfolio is further evolving as it draws positive feedback from customers.

Chris Skyers, Vice President, Own Brands, outlined the latest developments in the company’s journey during his keynote presentation at Velocity Global.

“We’re focusing on our core and premium portfolios, and on an innovation pipeline,” he said.

New Jersey-based Wakefern, which operates the ShopRite, PriceRite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, and Gourmet Garage store banners, is the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the U.S.

Wakefern aims to retain its reputation for value while enhancing aspects like quality, elegance, and design. Two new Private Brands — Bowl & Basket in food and Paperbird in nonfood — were launched in November, and the existing Wholesome Pantry line is being enhanced.

Bowl & Basket has driven sales increases of more than 1000% in certain innovative categories, Skyers said. The rollout of new items is ongoing with additional products set to hit shelves in the coming weeks.

Skyers showed images of Bowl & Basket items with unique package designs, including the innovative specialty line that includes plant-based frozen “meatless” entrees.

Paperbird — the nonfoods Private Brand with a modern, nontraditional name that alludes to origami birds — has been designed with simplicity and elegance in mind. Items run the gamut from paper goods to cleaning products. The initial designs are being further enhanced to better differentiate the core, premium, and eco-friendly offerings.

Meanwhile, ShopRite’s Wholesome Pantry line is being elevated with new designs and products set to start appearing soon. The first area of focus is organic produce with some 70 items, Skyers said.

Finally, the mainstay ShopRite brand, long associated with value, remains in the portfolio “and gives you comfort it will be at a value,” Skyers said.

Positive responses to Wakefern’s changes go beyond customer feedback and sales.

Bowl & Basket Specialty Kettle Chips won Best of Show in this year’s Vertex Awards, a topic addressed in a separate session at Velocity Global.

Paperbird — the nonfoods Private Brand with a modern, nontraditional name that alludes to origami birds — has been designed with simplicity and elegance in mind. Items run the gamut from paper goods to cleaning products. The initial designs are being further enhanced to better differentiate the core, premium, and eco-friendly offerings.

Meanwhile, ShopRite’s Wholesome Pantry line is being elevated with new designs and products set to start appearing soon. The first area of focus is organic produce with some 70 items, Skyers said.

Finally, the mainstay ShopRite brand, long associated with value, remains in the portfolio “and gives you comfort it will be at a value,” Skyers said.

Positive responses to Wakefern’s changes go beyond customer feedback and sales.

Bowl & Basket Specialty Kettle Chips won Best of Show in this year’s Vertex Awards, a topic addressed in a separate session at Velocity Global.

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