Todd Maute has worked in the private label business for close to 30 years helping retailers define brand and design strategies across multiple channels. Maute is a partner at the New York-based brand strategy and design agency CBX, whose clients include top CPG companies: General Mills, Snapple, Hershey, Hormel, J.M. Smucker Co, Mott’s and Mondelez. In case that doesn’t solidify his expertise, he's also advised Giant Eagle, Wal-Mart, Kroger, IGA, BJ’s and LIDL how to use packaging to win at retail.

Prior to joining CBX, Maute was vice president of marketing for Daymon Worldwide and ran their global design firm’s offices throughout the U.S., Japan, Hong Kong, and Latin America. Daymon was the world’s largest own-brand sales and marketing company, working with hundreds of retailers across 40 countries.

In this podcast episode, our conversation covers the state of private brands now, the challenges and the trends he’s seeing. He also provides insight on what private brands can do to win over the next generation of shoppers, Gen Z and reveals what retail category he thinks is the toughest to get right.

Check out our follow-up conversation below to get Todd’s perspective on 2021 and what’s in store for the New Year.

Overall, how did CPGs fair in 2021?

Overall, CPG companies are still growing at an accelerated rate in 2021. Consumer demand for meals at home, snacking and growing concern about health and safety had a positive impact on CPG sales. Private label and small CPG companies are growing at an even faster rate due to the demand for value and desire to try new products.

What is something you consider the new normal in the industry?

The growth of DTC (direct to consumer) will continue to grow and we see more consumers adopting to a shopping online. More and more consumers will shift their shopping behavior to online. The explosion of fast delivery will address immediate demand and ease of the hurdles shopping from home. This trend will also force retailers and CPG’s to better understand and integrate e-category management into their business planning and explore how their brand lives in the digital world. Social media activity and spending will rise to ensure their brands are present in our ever growing digital lifestyle.


How can CPG brands capitalize on sustainability and sustainable opportunities?

Concern for the environment is at an all-time high. CPG companies will continue to source clean ingredients, minimize over-processing and look for more sustainable packaging solutions to stay on trend. CPG companies will have to adopt sustainable solutions to maintain consumer acceptance of their brand. Plant based products will continue to surge forward and expand into new categories beyond meats and dairy. This trend will provide two benefits for their consumer...better for the environment and better for you.

What are some challenges and opportunities that brands face in 2022?

There are many…building a DTC solution is a must and dealing with inflation will have a significant impact on their business. Rising ingredient costs, packaging material costs, labor shortages and traceability and fuel and freight costs will force the CPG industry to rethink the supply chain and pass rising costs on to the consumer.