business news in context, analysis with attitude

•  The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that "sales of private-label products, which are typically cheaper than brand-name equivalents, have surged in recent months as shoppers look for ways to economize amid soaring inflation … Supermarkets typically make a higher profit margin on private-label goods than they do from selling branded products made by consumer behemoths such as Kraft Heinz Co. and Unilever PLC. Pushing lower-priced products could also enable grocers to win the loyalty of consumers by casting themselves as the shopper’s ally during difficult times."

The story notes that "a recent survey of food retailers by FMI, a food-industry trade group, revealed that more than 80% of respondents plan to moderately or significantly increase their investments in private brands over the next two years."

•  The FMI Foundation yesterday announced the 2022 Gold Plate Awards recipients during a livestreamed Gold Plate Awards Celebration, with Martin’s Super Markets winning among companies of 1-49 stores for its “Be A Family Meal Champ” program … SpartanNash Company willing among 50-199-store companies  for its “Our Family, Building Strong Families” program … and HY-Vee winning among 200+ store companies for its "special events that infused National Family Meals Month messaging with the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month."  In the supplier community, Pure Flavor won for its “Eat Well Together to Be Well Together” program.

Honorable Mentions went to Brookshire Grocery Company, ButcherBox, Skogen’s Festival Foods, Merchants Distributors, Rouses Markets, and Weis Markets.

A number of organizations earned blue ribbons for "effectively connected family meals to mental health benefits in their family meals programs," including ButcherBox, Coborn’s, Hy-Vee, K-VA-T Food Stores, Martin’s Super Markets, Pure Flavor, Rouses Markets, and SpartanNash.