Giant Food issues challenge to national brands

Sep 26, 2014

The management at Ahold’s Giant Food Stores, headquartered in Carlisle, PA, is pretty confident about the quality of the chain’s private label versus national brands. That’s why it is coming back with its "Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free Challenge" to prompt customers to compare for themselves.

Over the weeks of Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, customers who buy select national brand items will get the equivalent Giant brand item for free. The latest challenge will be the fourth time Giant has run this event this year.

"The ‘Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free Challenge’ has become one of our most popular promotions showcasing the value and quality of our Own Brands products," said John MacDonald, director of marketing and external communications, in a statement. "Customer feedback has been great, and the good news continues to spread about how we are helping stretch family budgets."

Among the brands that Giant is taking on with its challenge are Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice, Sabra Hummus, DiGiorno Rising Crust Pizza, Nabisco Ritz Crackers and Pillsbury Ready to Bake Cookies.

Giant will make use of in-store signage to call out the challenge items. The chain has also scheduled sampling of its own products on Sept. 28 so shoppers can get a taste of what they’ll be eating at home.

Giant circular

In other Giant news, the company announced earlier this week that it is expanding its online ordering and pick-up service with sister company Peapod to two new locations in Pennsylvania.

"We are excited to introduce this convenient grocery option to our customers in Flourtown and Conshohocken," said Mr. MacDonald. "In addition to the Peapod home delivery service we offer in these communities, Peapod by Giant Pick Up provides customers with another opportunity to shop when and how they want without having to leave their vehicle."

How effective are programs such as Giant Food’s “Buy Theirs, Get Ours Free Challenge” in converting national brand buyers into private label consumers? Does Giant risk its standing with CPG partners with a challenge such as this?

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8 Comments on "Giant Food issues challenge to national brands"

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Dr. Stephen Needel
7 years 7 months ago

I would think it’s pretty darn successful if they’ve already run it three times. I’m guessing the first CPG partner who complains a lot sees their direct competitors get better promotions, shelving, etc.

Steve Montgomery
7 years 7 months ago

Free is the magic word in marketing. Customers like free because there is no downside. The worst case is they take the free item and don’t like it.

By running these comparisons Giant wins because they get trials of their private label items. The consumers win because they get free goods and the name brands win because they get placement in the ads.

Gene Detroyer
7 years 7 months ago

If you’ve got it, FLAUNT IT!

I have to assume that Giant is very confident of their products standing up to the national brands and they have a pretty good idea of the conversion rate. Despite the years of improvement of private label products, there is still the thought or the stigma that if it is cheaper it is not as good as the more expensive national brands. This sampling technique not only puts the product in the shoppers’ hands but provides them with the opportunity to do a “side-by-side” comparison.

I don’t understand how the CPG companies could object. It is not the responsibility of the retailer to protect the manufacturer if their products don’t stand up. It is the responsibility of the CPG company to make sure that they win this comparison. In fact, they should fully support this type of promotion to justify the higher price for their higher quality product, if it is in fact a higher quality.

Just by asking this question, do we know in our hearts who the winner will be?

Naomi K. Shapiro
Naomi K. Shapiro
7 years 7 months ago

If this is a repeat promotion, they must know something. They’ve done their homework on pricing, conversion and future business. What could be better than extensive publicity and buzz, bringing customers into your store, having the customer actively participate in a “fun” and free challenge, and giving them a chance to like you and your brand, for your products or CPG? And the CPG partner is getting exposure. A three-way win: Store, CPG, customer. I’d certainly put it into my Brilliant Book of Promotions, Sales Tools and Special Events.

Lee Kent
7 years 7 months ago

Excuse my ignorance but, if I were one of those national brands, why would I continue to do business with Giant? Are they headed toward becoming an all store-brand store?

I see the market opportunity but don’t quite see the long run. For my two cents.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
7 years 7 months ago

Conceptually and operationally this makes sense. The key to any business is providing a differential advantage to its customers. Currently, most supermarkets use the store perimeter to generate a differential advantage. With the continued decline of center store purchases from traditional food retailers, there has been little opportunity for such differentiation, save “click and collect” options for center store merchandise. The positioning of Giant’s private label potentially gives it a differential advantage, particularly if the private label offerings give value beyond lower price than the national brands.

However, if not done properly Giant runs the risk of little incremental business combined with the alienation of its national brands which helped to build Giant’s business.

Larry Negrich
7 years 7 months ago

It’s a great promotion to get a consumer to try the private label product. I’m surprised more grocers haven’t tried this promotion—I have not seen it tried in any of the stores I shop locally.

The CPG companies have been getting competition from store labels for quite some time and seem to have found a balance between their interests and the store’s. Most shoppers want a choice of national brands and private label products so having both on the shelf is here to stay.

Kai Clarke
7 years 7 months ago

Great promotional idea! Giant still gets business by selling national brands at premium prices and attracts their key market to try their products for “free”. Customers will convince themselves, and the house branded products will only see continued positive growth.


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