Metro has been servicing the communities in Quebec and Ontario for decades. Established in 1947, Metro expanded to 73 stores within ten years of operation, reaching a whopping $10 million in revenues in 1957.
In the following years, usual difficulties in the retailing business determined some of the company’s operations. Various name changes took place until the Metro Inc. version was finally adopted in 2000. The company merged with Epiciers Unis Inc. in the early 1980s; it bought several chain stores including A&P Canada by 2005; it restructured its business model a few times; and finally, it introduced two private label brands, Irresistibles and Selection, which are carried as well by Metro’s subsidiaries.
Metro Private Brands at First
It was in the first half of the 1990s when Metro started launching private-label goods, strategically securing its position within the Canadian market that was very competitive with Loblaw Companies and Sobeys landscaping the grocery industry.
The selection of Metro store brands expanded from the Norois beer brand that was launched by Metro Richelieu chain in 1994 to a larger variety of private product lines nowadays. At the time when Metro launched Norois beer, the company already had a team of specialists engaged in developing products for the chain’s private label, and it sold about 800 store brand products under the Metro label.
Metro Private Brands Today
Metro carries two main private label brands today: Irresistibles and Selection. The Irresistibles brand carries its own sub-sector lines: the Irresistibles, the Irresistibles Life-Smart, the Irresistibles Market Fresh, the Irresistibles Organic and the Irresistibles Gluten Free.
Metro Selection has over 2.500 products sold through Metro stores and Metro units.
Creating new product categories and launching new items within existent product lines has been one of the ways by which the company sought to respond to evolving consumer trends. One example is the Irresistibles Organic line, a category that has been gaining popularity in recent years with more and more consumers seeking healthier options.
Quite a few Metro private-label goods have been awarded for product quality and packaging, some of which are listed below.
Metro Private Label Goods That Are Well Worth Their Buck
Irresistibles Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels
At the 2013 Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards, Metro won in the confectionery, snack & dessert category for the Dark Chocolate Salted Caramels Irresistibles and in the bakery category for the Fresh 2 Go Toscana Focaccia.
Irresistibles Gluten Free Cheese Ravioli
A year later, Metro’s winning products within the same awards program included the Irresistibles Gluten Free Cheese Ravioli in the prepared food & entrees category.
Metro won as well for its Mini Sorbet Bars in the confectionery, snack & dessert category, following the 2013 Grand Prix winner.
Specialists in the grocery industry, along with journalists and consumers alike scored the products based on uniqueness and innovation, product characteristics, presentation and packaging, consumer value and consumer acceptance.
Irresistibles Life Smart Products
In 2014, Metro won as well at the DUX Gala for its line of Life Smart Products. The company took First Prize for its approximately 300 Irresistibles Life Smart items in the Improved Food Product – Large Company category.
The Irresistibles Life Smart is Metro’s range of healthier foods created to respond to different eating attributes such as cholesterol, gluten intolerance and artificial flavoring.
Irresistibles Chicken Range
Although not having won any prize yet, the Irresistibles chicken has proved satisfactory to Metro’s customers, more so since the company decided to farm and process its entire range in Quebec.
Locally sourced products are always fan favorites, and with Metro Irresistibles Chicken products now entirely from Quebec, there will surely be impacts more positive as to increased access to local products.