That, in a nutshell, is the main finding from TraceOne’s survey '12 Truths About Private Label Success'. Some 133 respondents from across grocery retailing and food suppliers took part from 16 countries.
TraceOne’s chief revenue officer, Shaun Bossons, said the survey came about after the company noticed a “disconnect” between retailers and their private label suppliers. “My background is in consumer packaging on the branded retail side and private label is a bit different to that. Companies such as Tesco have strong links with Coca-Cola but in private label those links are not quite there,” he explained.
The survey found 68% of respondents whose customer sales of and loyalty for private label goods had improved, put this down to sharing information and better communication. Two-in-five respondents said collaboration made them 10-30% more productive while speed-to-market was cited as a key reason for more collaboration.
“It’s great to see the survey validating what we thought and we can see commonalities from both sides,” said Bossons. “Retailers want their suppliers to be more accountable and suppliers want to be better informed about a retailer’s key performance indicators (KPIs), goals and business processes. Collaboration has to be two-way; it has to be about software, people and process and it has to add value for both sides.”
NPD for specialised diets
Bossons points to new data published by Nielsen, which found that more than four in 10 Britons were now eating a specialised diet. In the light of this, he believes it is becoming more important than ever for retailers and manufacturers to work together to meet the dietary requirements of their customers.
His view is that collaborative product development and management tools allow retailers and manufacturers to effectively and transparently exclude particular ingredients across a range of products. They drive customer-centric product innovation and facilitate labelling that makes customers with dietary requirements feel safe.
But for collaboration and communication to work fully, he says businesses need to use a proper private label solution rather than a generic tool.
Bossons says TraceOne’s supplier collaboration programme can help retailers react quickly to industry trends and CSR targets.
“If a retailer’s CSR programme demands less use of palm oil then they can go into the system and search their private label database for ingredients and see just how much palm oil they are using then decide where to cut back. And at a raw ingredients level, they can see whether their salt comes from Egypt or from Russia, which is important when handling embargoes.”
The programme can also furnish retailers and suppliers with important industry updates including information about new legislation.