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Proprietary Process

With competition for food dollars at an extreme, companies are pulling out all the stops in attempts to capture sales. That can be the only explanation why a convenience store, of all things, would start rolling out its own brands. Wawa, a 550-store chain based in the Northeast, is doing just that. The company is plastering its red and white, golden goose label throughout its stores. It first toyed with the label idea in November 2004 when it rolled out a line of bottled water. Now it will have 300 packaged items carrying its own label with another 100 in the works. Wawa branded foods included everything from candy to yogurt to tea bags. Private label brands account for just 3 percent of convenience store sales — less than the broader retail industry where the figure is more like 16 percent. Wawa's experiment could transform that picture.

TAGS: Retail
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