Supermarket company Wakefern Food Corp. announced the winners of its first-ever Own Brand Supplier Innovation Summit Sept. 28.
The event from the self-described largest retailer-owned cooperative in the U.S. offered an opportunity for private label manufacturers to present their products for possible inclusion in Keasbey-based Wakefern‘s private label lines, Bowl & Basket and Wholesome Pantry.
With food prices on the rise, shoppers are finding solace in private label goods, which are typically more affordable than name brand items. Read the full story here.
The winners are:
- Candy Category – Delica North America: Bean-to-bar Swiss chocolate and confection facility Delica is part of Migros Industry and one of the world’s largest own-brand producers, offering more than 20,000 products in more than 50 countries.
- Frozen Appetizers Category – GlutenLibre: Founded by two bakers who met in manufacturing 15 years ago, GlutenLibre offers certified gluten-free and vegan plant-based frozen dumplings. The maker only uses wholesome, all-natural ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, nitrates, hormones or antibiotics.
- Frozen Entrees Category – The Perfect Bite Co.: A trend-setting manufacturer that offers a “fresh take on frozen,” the Perfect Bite Co. built its business by offering a foundation of foods including breakfast, single serve meals, bowls and value added vegetables and grains.
- Prepared Foods Category: Prana Gourmet Foods: Based in Somerset, Prana offers innovative “on-the-go” meal solutions that address mainstream plant-based trends. Its extensive product line includes shelf-stable meals made from rice, quinoa and noodles in both conventional and organic varieties.
The summit officially launched in March as an open call to private label manufacturers. That resulted in more than 240 entries, representing more than 1,400 products that were submitted and reviewed by Wakefern’s team.
In July, finalists were invited to present their products at Wakefern’s corporate offices in Elizabeth. The live event included 15-minute pitch presentations and product samplings, which were judged by company executives.
“We are incredibly proud of the teamwork that went into making our very first Own Brands Supplier Innovation Summit such a successful and rewarding endeavor,” said Bryant Harris, chief merchandising officer at Wakefern. “As a result of the event, we’ve identified four exciting, innovative food and beverage companies that will expand the on-trend, high-quality offerings of our own brands portfolio.”
The winning products are slated to appear on store shelves under the Bowl & Basket or Whole Pantry brand umbrellas by spring 2023. Wakefern’s banners include ShopRite, Dearborn Market, Fairway Market, The Fresh Grocer, Price Rite Marketplace and Gourmet Garage.