CEO: Recipes are Key to Private Label Success

closeup photo of turned on iPad with rack on table

Private label products are becoming more popular than ever as shoppers keep a close watch on their spending and seek to cut costs in the face of inflation.

A survey by EY found that 49% of global shoppers would consider buying private label packaged food in the current environment — but the challenge is turning that interest into a conversion and, ideally, a large basket.

“You’ve got these loyal followers, you’ve got their attention, and now it’s time to figure out how you’re going to get their items in the cart,” said Katie Hotze, CEO and Founder of Grocery Shopii. “Is that a merchandising tactic? A marketing tactic? A digital tactic?

“What’s the best method to get it in their cart right now?”

That method may be digitally providing recipes and easy list-building options, according to Hotze.


An interesting recipe can get both private and national brands into the basket, and apps that with options to instantly order the necessary items can simultaneously drive convenience for busy customers while enabling grocers to get higher-margin products in customers’ pantries.

“They want a fast solution to get meal planning done, get the groceries to their door,” Hotze said. “This is the reason why meal kits exploded and then the air got sucked out of their sails. People saw it as convenient, but it’s not. You still have to deal with the subscription, high prices and washing 100 dishes.

“We take the opportunity to make meal planning very, very fast and simple, and expedite online grocery shopping and meal planning from your neighborhood grocer to five minutes or less.”


Recipes aren’t anything new, of course, but retailers need to present them in a fashion that moves as rapidly as the current digital world. A recipe that has sat on a grocer’s homepage for five years isn’t going to catch anyone’s eye. Hotze has found that a recipe peaks on its second month before rapidly falling off, making constant turnover valuable both as a way to keep consumer interest high and promote the current high-value products.

“It is absolutely imperative that grocers understand when you’re bringing private label to market, and you’re merchandising and marketing it as part of a recipe — which is the powerful vehicle — you’ve got to have fresh recipe content,” said Hotze.

This strategy also can help attract younger shoppers to a retailer’s private label goods and potentially create a shopper for life.


Gen Z customers are less likely to be swayed by traditional marketing pushes than influencer-created recipes and getting a grocer’s own brands on their plates can be a valuable tool as they look for ways to reduce spending.

“[Younger shoppers] do not measure and validate products and recipes the same way Boomers do,” said Hotze. “They don’t follow stars. They don’t have time to read the comments. They follow food bloggers, and they trust food brands. So you have to be able to lean into these trends.”