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When it comes to choosing between a private label or branded foodservice program, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each and decide what’s best for your grocery business. In the end, there’s no wrong decision; you just need to determine how much support you want from a vendor, how much control you need and if you have a brand to expand.

If you have to decide on a private label or a branded program, consider the following factors to help make an informed decision that will best help you grow your brand and select the right program from your vendor of choice.

Complimenting an Existing Program

If you already have an existing foodservice program that’s branded under your company name, a private label vendor can help complement your existing food offerings without changing your brand name. They can help round out your food selection with access to additional sides and sauces.

Finding a foodservice vendor to help expand your selection also provides you with more support for your program. Vendors often offer a variety of support from menus and promotion to the point of sales system.

A Note on Support

Whether you choose a branded program or a private label one, it’s important to realize that any vendor should offer you support for the program you choose. There will be varying levels of support based on how much you purchase and your agreement, so make sure you are focused on getting the right level of support you need to be successful.

More Freedom Than a Branded Program

Private label programs are about creating your own brand or expanding it based on your vision and company. Private label programs are going to have fewer restrictions and requirements from vendors on products, equipment and signage. This means you can control the level of investment but are also responsible for the level of quality and the due diligence in picking the right equipment and resources.

Private label requires more dedication on your end, but it does allow you to build whatever experience you’ve envisioned. Chains with on-site deli managers may find it advantageous to modify a program based on the local demographics in ways that a branded program might not allow.

Branded programs need to protect their experience across all locations. 

Offers an Extension of a Known Brand

Whether you are a small local grocery store or spreading across a region, private label programs are a great way to expand your ability to stay top of mind with customers and support your brand. This is often the case for chains and not as common for stand-alone locations.

There are many companies known by locals throughout their region that would benefit from expanding into grab-and-go and dine-in private label programs. Doing so brings you into the homes of your customers like never before.

Private label is useful for expanding brand recognition, while a branded program can bring in customers familiar with the same foodservice program elsewhere. Both can help you grow your business, one leverages your existing brand name, and the other leverages the vendors brand.

Benefits to Both Branded and Private Label

In the end, it’s up to you to decide what’s best for you and your company. A private label program offers you more control but requires more investment in time and self-management. A branded program comes with more restrictions, but also provides more support, taking some of the burden off a smaller operations staff or one that does not include a full-time deli manager.

No matter your choices, make sure you find a vendor that you can trust and that provides you with excellent quality food.

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