Strong brands grab attention and provide orientation. They are ‘anchors of trust’ in uncertain times according to the Trusted Brands 2022 study. But which brands succeed in winning buyers’ trust? In the food sector, consumers in Germany love brands like Milka, Maggi or Dr. Oetker. Globally, names like Nestlé, Unilever and Barilla are some of the key players.
And what about the hospitality industry? There are strong brands which come to mind here, for example, in the beverages sector. Well-known beer brands or soft drink classics like Coca-Cola and others can be found on almost all drinks menus. On the other hand, brand names don’t play such a key role on the menu and the plate because they are generally not visible to diners. At the end of the day, they care most about how good the food tastes. However, brand quality is essential in the kitchen. That’s because chefs have specific requirements when it comes to their ingredients.
Quality is essential for chefs
This is where METRO comes in and offers tailored products of the right quality and price thanks to its strong own own brands. What’s more, HoReCa professionals can rely on the fact that the products cook well. The own-brand products often form the basis of a menu and are not easy to replace. One example of this includes high-quality convenience products that don’t just taste good but can also be prepared quickly and cost-effectively by any cook and then refined with a personal signature, like pre-prepared salads.
Among wholesalers, own brands are enjoying increasing popularity according to the German market research report Handelsmarkenmonitor 2022. They are also becoming more important in the METRO product range: the goal is to increase the sales share of own brands from the current level of 17 per cent to more than 35 per cent by 2030. In Germany alone, there are already more than 6500 products, from standard products for everyday use to exclusive premium products. ‘All METRO own brands offer reliable quality at a cost-effective price-performance-ratio, which is more important than ever for HoReCa professionals in a time of inflation,’ explains Jens Bresler, Vice President Global Own Brand Management at METRO.
What exactly is a brand?
Whether we’re talking about Porsche, Lego or Haribo, strong brands are more than just names or logos. They stand for certain values, evoke emotions and are memorable. Brands have a long tradition. In legal terms, the oldest German brand is the state porcelain manufacturer Meissen, which registered its two crossed swords as a figurative mark in 1875. At this time, the first brand protection law came into force. Nowadays, people can protect brands with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office provided they have marks which can distinguish goods or services belonging to one company from those of a competitor. Examples of these can be words, letters and numbers, but can also be illustrations, holograms or even sounds.
Only the best pass the test
To ensure that METRO own brands meet the needs of haute cuisine, they are developed together with catering professionals working in the industry. ‘An important reason for the success of own brands,’ Bresler emphasises. For example, the own-brand experts at METRO Turkey work hard at their development centre to ensure that only the products which meet the highest standards end up on shelves. That also applies to non-food items: product testers rigorously put kitchen devices and other items through their paces. Thanks to the high level of quality, METRO own brands are even used at the world’s most famous gastronomic competition, Bocuse D‘Or.
But there is more: METRO own brands help to meet the demand for environmentally-friendly products and packaging and progress wholesalers’ sustainability strategies . For example, in Germany, METRO already offers around 1300 organic products under its own brand and this number is set to increase.
This is perfect for lots of customers: According to the Meaningful Brands 2021 study, 73 per cent of consumers want brands to promote the well-being of society and the planet. ‘At its core, it's about more relevance, reliability and presence,’ says own brand expert Bresler. And: ‘Experience shows: Once a customer has been won over to the own brand, he usually remains loyal to it.’