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Private-label sales spell success for stores, customers

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Customers seeking a good deal in a weak economy are looking no further than private-label brands, according to a recent report by Nielsen.

In his report “Store Brands Flex Muscle in Weak Economy,” Nielsen’s SVP consumer and shopper insights Todd Hale said U.S. store brands have garnered more sales, including a 17.3% of share dollars, in addition to 21.9% share of units by March 2010 — up 2.1 and 1.9 points, respectively, since 2007.

Additionally, the customer profiles driving such sales are not who you think. Hale said both young women and middle-class families represent those customers seeking more bang for their buck. And with tiered offerings, including organic and one-of-a-kind items, store-brand purchases may soon become the norm across all customer profiles.

Hale added that store brands demonstrated its power by capturing a 20 unit share or higher in 48-of-the-117 categories analyzed by Nielsen. Last year, Nielsen found that private-label brand sales grew by 7.4% to $85.9 billion within food, drug and mass-merchandisers (including Walmart), with shares recorded at 16.9%.

“In most countries, the concentration of a few dominant retailers correlates well with higher store-brand share, but there are exceptions,” Hale wrote. “This is also true in the U.S. where higher store brand shares in markets are served by a few dominant retailers. With the likelihood of continued consolidation of U.S. retailing in the years to come, expect to see continued growth in store brand shares.”

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Odwalla expands protein beverage line

BY Allison Cerra

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. Natural health beverage company Odwalla has added a new flavor to its Protein Monster drink line.

The newest addition to the Protein Monster line blends strawberries and soy and dairy protein. Odwalla Strawberry Protein Monster packs 25 grams of protein in every bottle.

“We know that the active people who love Odwalla are looking for an on-the-go protein smoothie that doesn’t compromise on taste,” said Jason Dolenga, brand manager, for Odwalla. “By combining 25 grams of protein with creamy deliciousness in every bottle, new Strawberry Protein Monster continues the Odwalla tradition of mixing great nutrition and extraordinary flavor.”

Odwalla Strawberry Protein Monster is available in 450 mL (15.2 fl. oz.) recyclable plastic bottles and can be found in natural food stores, select supermarkets and specialty outlets.

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P&G to acquire Natura Pet Products

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI Procter & Gamble has agreed to acquire a privately held pet food business based in Davis, Calif.

P&G’s acquisition of Natura Pet Products will expand its pet care portfolio, which currently includes Iams and Eukanuba brands. Natura’s brands, which include Innova, Evo, California Natural, Healthwise, Mother Nature and Karma,  are sold in a limited number of pet specialty stores and through veterinarians, mainly in the United States and Canada.

“These outstanding brands and the great employees of Natura Pet Products will complement our Eukanuba and Iams brands very well,” said Dan Rajczak, SVP of P&G’s global pet care and snacks businesses. “This acquisition gives us a strong position in the holistic and natural pet food segment. It will enable us to enhance the health and well-being of even more dogs and cats and represents an exciting new source of growth for our business.”

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