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The Oregonian reports on the new spurt of growth in private label, increasingly used by retailers in a wide variety of venues to differentiate themselves.

However, in some cases private label is more than just cheaper product positioned next to national brands. For example, the Oregon-based New Seasons Market “is teaching employees about the poultry that the company is selling under its private label, Pacific Village, so that employees, in turn, will talk it up with customers.

“Later this year, New Seasons also aims to roll out organic milk and butter from dairy farmers in the region under the Pacific Village brand, which the company launched in the fall of 2004 but has done little to advertise -- until now.”

In other words, in a climate where organic and natural food stores are differentiating themselves from their mainstream competition through choice of product and dint of philosophy, New Seasons is going one step farther to differentiate itself from its natural/organic brethren.
KC's View:
We’ve always been impressed by New Seasons efforts to differentiate itself. For example, the company recently won the state’s Organic Handler of the Year award because of its compliance with organic standards and community involvement. And a couple of years ago, when the rest of the industry was decrying the possibility of mandated County of Origin Labeling (COOL), the company’s CEO, Brian Rohter, showed us how his stores were doing it already.