Product Trend Watch – Consumers Embracing Store Brands

By Ryan Lepicier, the National Peanut Board Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
This article was originally published in PQ 44.

Growth of new private label products continues to increase in 2021, despite supply chain challenges many manufacturers faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Food Marketing Institute, 91% of food retailers and manufacturers expect to significantly or moderately increase investment in private brands over the next two years. A key driver of this trend is renewed interest in store brands among consumers.
“During the pandemic, many more consumers gave private brands a try, and this has resulted in new acceptance among today’s shoppers,” said Doug Baker, vice president of industry relations for the Food Marketing Institute. “At the same time, the rise of e-commerce and home cooking offers the food industry an opportunity to further grow their private brand's programs.” 
Trader Joe’s, a specialty grocery chain beloved by loyal shoppers, is known for its innovative private label products. This summer, the chain released Peanuts for Chocolate!, a chocolate ice cream mixed with pieces of chocolate peanut butter Joe-Joe's cookies and a peanut butter swirl. The ice cream was just one of several new peanut products Trader Joe’s introduced this year.
Private labels allow retailers to offer consumers a range of options from familiar favorites like cocktail peanut and trail mixes to interesting and fun products like the Trader Joe’s ice cream, which fans raved about on social media.
More traditional retailers like Safeway, Target, Kroger, Walmart, Aldi and Lidl all released several new store brand peanut products this year.
Safeway released a series of new peanut products earlier this year under its Open Nature private label, including peanut butter and jelly sandwich bars in two varieties – strawberry and blueberry. They also introduced Open Nature peanut butter and date bars in two varieties.
From the freezer case to the snack food aisle, new private label products containing peanuts can be found in every part of the store, including foods for special diets like low carb. Earlier this year Walmart introduced Keto Peanut Butter Fat Cups under its Equate brand. We’ve included a few more examples of delicious peanut products on the next page.

Peanuts for Chocolate Ice Cream
Trader Joe’s fans raved about the new ice cream on social media. On Instagram, @traderjoesobsessed wrote, “I had to try this new Peanuts for Chocolate Ice Cream ASAP and it didn’t disappoint! There’s so much peanut butter flavor and generous amounts of pb chocolate joe Joe’s! This is a must get if you love peanut butter!”

Van’s Gluten Free PB&J Blueberry Sandwich Bars
Van’s Natural Foods product come in two varieties – strawberry and blueberry.

Peanut Butter Keto Sandwich Cookies
Catalina Crunch’s cookies are tailored to those following a keto diet and contain only 1 net carb per serving.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Stuff’d Oat Bites
Bobo’s Stuff'd Oat Bites also come in oat bar form and are offered in a variety of flavors.

Peanut Butter Coconut Cookies
Emmy’s Organics offers a vegan and grain-free coconut cookies in six flavors.

The Food Industry Association. (2021, August 10). Food industry makes significant private brands. FMI.

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