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Senior Vice President - Marketing and Sales
HQ Phone:  (909) 230-9888
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4651 Schaefer Ave
Diamond Wipes International is the leading West Coast manufacturer of disposable wet wipes in the United States. Established in 1994, Diamond Wipes supplies wet wipes to major restaurant chains including Tony Roma's, Applebee's, T.G.I. Friday's and other leadi... more.
"It is no doubt that the category has matured, dominated by a few key CPG brands," says Tom Hill, senior vice president and general sales manager for Diamond Wipes International, based in Chino, Calif. Changing lifestyles, especially in urban and metropolitan areas, are creating new opportunities for companies of all sizes to introduce products to suit the ever more mobile and on-the-go population, he explains.
"If I were to sum it up I'd say it is all about more convenient packaging, more portable products and quality over quantity," says Hill.
Tom Hill, SVP general sales manager, Diamond Wipes, says they're intent on domestic investment, and have expanded their facilities in the last decade.
Hill of Diamond Wipes, adds, "Increasing numbers of our accounts are developing or have already instituted a supply chain program-encouraging and often requiring their suppliers to work with domestic partners and small businesses." While Diamond Wipes sources both domestically and globally, Hill says a Made in the USA label holds allure.
Tom Hill, senior vice president and general sales manager for Chino, Calif.-based Diamond Wipes International, Inc., agrees.
"We do make a point to always communicate to our customers that the use of any antibacterial product needs to be a part of comprehensive personal hygienic practice," he says. He cautions, though, that it's vital to remind consumers that antibacterial products "should not, for example, replace washing hands when soap and water are available." "We expect the trend to continue," Hill says. "This is the area in which the partnership - in a true sense, between manufacturers and government regulatory bodies becomes necessary to foster safe and effective innovation for everyone's benefit." As always, the best partnership between private label retailers and manufacturers involves sharing the ideas that can benefit both parties. Whether it's cross-category marketing of private label antibacterial products with a national brand paper towels or tissues, or a straight-up private label display, getting busy shoppers to remember that they need antibacterial products is key. "We encourage retailers to approach us on the very first day of the project inception and get us involved in brainstorming sessions," Hill says.
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Looking for wipes? Look no further!
Tom Hill, a 25-year veteran of the private label supplier side of the equation and v.p. of sales at Diamond Wipes, the original manufacturer of hot and cold disposable wet wipes, agreed to share his perception of how package design has shifted to meet the demands of retailers and consumers.
PDM: How have consumer perceptions of private label changed in recent years? Hill: We have seen dramatic changes in how programs are developed. Today, programs are driven by retailers and what they are trying to accomplish. Most consumers really don't view private label as a "price issue" anymore. They realize many private label products are brand-matching quality, though not necessarily top-tier brand matching. PDM: How do retailers approach bringing new private label products into the market? Hill: Retailers introduce products based on a particular marketing need. Consumers have bought into the concept of a strong store brand with many SKUs that they can trust. Retailers know this, and they are driving marketing strategies supporting this type of brand management. Consequently, the packaging strategies have become much more sophisticated. PDM: What forces are affecting private label growth? Hill: The consolidation of supermarket chains is the primary driver of private label expansion. With fewer chains to compete against, the parent companies can manage their store brands more efficiently, and suppliers naturally find it easier to service larger chains. PDM: Will private label retain new customers who traded down during the recession after it has passed? Hill: The philosophical changes in consumer beliefs have forced retailers to respond. Hill: Private label has become a value business-meaning, consumers are interested in "getting the most quality" for their money. The progress of private label right now is market driven more than production driven as its was in the past when high-volume and low-cost products were directing the market. PDM: Do you offer different tiers of quality of the same line of product within a category of private label; and if so, how do you compete against yourself? Hill: Most private label suppliers offer tiers, and the successful ones "target match" many different targets. This doesn't mean that the quality is any less, just that different product strata have different requirements. We're not competing against ourselves so much as offering variety to meet specific needs of the retail community. The business is often more about configuring the product in new ways, varying the quantity, and improving packaging features to target a national brand. PDM: Are all consumers willing to believe now that some private label brands are equivalent in quality to national brands? Hill: There is still a small percentage of private label buyers looking for the "econo buy," where price competition is really down and dirty. As a consumer, I have found that there is still that market. Of course, the top-tier or high-end brands have held their ground for now. Anywhere in the wide middle, however, consumers are willing to trust products labeled under their favorite store brands. PDM: How has marketing private label brands changed in recent years? Hill: Retailers have become more similar to national brands in managing their brand.