HowGood partnership with S4RB brings new tools for environmental and labor risk analysis to retailers

June 13, 2019 by Eva Clark

FORT WORTH, TEXAS — A new partnership will allow grocery retailers to measure risk across key sustainability metrics with turn-key, machine learning technology.

Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB), a grocery retail technology specialist that focuses on private brands, has partnered with HowGood to bring environmental and labor risk analysis into the hands of retailers looking to avoid common ethics- and transparency-related pitfalls in their private brands.

The solution helps to reduce risks that can lead to negative consumer feedback and damage to reputation. The technology-driven solution is able to determine which ingredients or ingredient sources are associated with which areas of risks, and to continually benchmark these against industry averages.

Retail private brands often have thousands of products across tens of categories from hundreds of different suppliers. That makes it difficult to understand environmental and labor risks across all brands. This partnership will leverage the unique HowGood approach to benchmark risk across categories, based on industry comparisons.

HowGood’s data examines the sales performance of products against 127 different sustainability attributes, ranging from animal welfare risk to greenhouse gas emissions. The assessments tie into consumer trends to help retailers stay ahead of the curve in a new values-based economy.

This partnership involves two companies – S4RB and HowGood — that are already bringing their own solutions to a wide range of retailers. The partnership will make HowGood’s risk analysis data available on the S4RB Affinity platform, which enables retailers to access a complete view of product performance alongside other product and supplier KPIs. As a result, retailers will now be able to easily share key sustainability insights with own brand suppliers, powering strategic decisions on sourcing and formulation.

“This approach allows private brand teams to leverage information in existing recipe or specification management systems to provide risk analysis in the key areas which matter to consumers and drive brand performance, and we are excited to add the unique HowGood technology to the scope of supplier and product KPIs available in Affinity,” explained James Butcher, CEO at S4RB.

The Connect module of Affinity provides interfaces to many common private brand systems, such as Oracle ORBC, Bamboo Rose, Trace One and other PLM systems.  Affinity will now allow key product or supply attributes to be used with the HowGood industry data models to provide new insight and direct activity to both mitigate risk and to leverage brand advantage.

“S4RB understands how to engage private brand teams and suppliers to work as one team around winning strategy for private brand, and has a proven track record to help retailers drive change across their private brand portfolio around ingredients, nutrition and responsible sourcing,” said Ethan Soloviev, EVP of Research at HowGood.  “Our collaboration with S4RB will make HowGood’s extensive industry data and risk analysis models more accessible and configurable to meet specific brand objectives”.

Ultimately, private brands suppliers will be responsible to drive changes that will reduce risk and ensure brand success, and the combination of HowGood and S4RB technology will put the right information in the hands of the right people –in the retailer private brand teams and the supplier organizations – in order to deliver successful outcomes.

To support the launch of this partnership, S4RB and HowGood have also created the option of an introductory evaluation across five key areas of consumer focus: animal-welfare risks; labor risks; and brand risks around GMOs, palm oil and petrochemical ingredients.   In addition, the evaluation will help identify potential growth areas of winning differentiation (compared to industry averages) for free-from and organic products.

For more information about Solution for Retail Brands’ Affinity platform, please visit:

To learn more about utilizing HowGood’s sustainability data, contact us.

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