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VanDenabeele Named Director Of IGA Exclusive Brands

Robin VanDenabeele head shot

Robin VanDenabeele has joined the Chicago-based Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) team as director of IGA Exclusive Brands, overseeing IGA’s private label redesign, product development and marketing.

VanDenabeele has spent the last four years with Midwest natural/organic grocery chain Fresh Thyme Market, where she launched a more than 1,800 SKU private label brand that earned 30 artistic awards and generated more than $100 million in sales across 77-plus stores. Previously, she worked for Topco on a $215 million portfolio of food sauces, and Symphony/IRI, where she focused on market research and analytics for national chains like Walgreens and Target.

VanDenabeele joins the IGA team during a systematic research process that began nearly a year ago with analysis of IGA Exclusive Brand’s quality, shopper interest, design, marketing and range of offerings, and is now nearing conclusion with design and testing of a new label.

“Our customer research revealed that IGA Exclusive Brand gets extremely high marks from shoppers when it relates to quality, trust and shopper interest, but the look of the label is where we fall short,” said IGA CEO John Ross. “Now we’re working to align the quality and reputation of our brand with the look and feel of a modern, innovative product line that resonates with our new Local Equals Fresh marketing and merchandising platform. Robin’s extensive experience in private label design, combined with her background in analytics, market research and category management give us the expertise we need to breathe new life into the IGA Exclusive Brand line with both a new look and new offerings.”

“Connecting with the consumer on an emotional level while creating a rewarding brand experience is our top priority,” VanDenabeele said. “Our goal is to reignite the IGA brand and get consumers to fill their pantries with all things IGA. To achieve this, we need to focus on household staples, while staying ahead of emerging trends to ensure our products are relevant to our customers.”

IGA is the world’s largest voluntary supermarket network with aggregate worldwide retail sales of more than $36 billion per year. The alliance includes more than 6,000 supermarkets worldwide, supported by 36 distribution companies and nearly 40 major manufacturers, vendors and suppliers known as IGA’s Red Oval Family partners. IGA has operations in 46 of the United States and more than 30 countries, commonwealths and territories.


About the author


Treva Bennett

After 32 years in the newspaper industry, she is enjoying her new career exploring the world of groceries at The Shelby Report.

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