Private label is booming, and the growth is only partly due to consumers’ proclivity for saving money. Consumers are seeking items that are branded by the stores that sell them, as retailers now offer products that have new flavors, health-related benefits—and yes, better price points.
However that price is not nearly as important as it
used to be. “For private label, the key is quality, not
price,” says Brian Sharoff, president of the New York-
based Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA).
“Retailers need to make sure that they get the message
across that their store brands offer great quality.”
Store brands offer value for consumers, says Sharoff.
Market basket research by PLMA indicates that shop-
pers can save about one-third on basic food and house-
hold items in a typical supermarket by opting for the
store brand over national brands.
According to PLMA’s 2016 Private Label Yearbook,
sales of store brands reached $118.4 billion in 2015,
which is an all-time record and an increase of $2.2 billion over the previous year. In supermarkets, total sales
of store brands totaled $62.5 billion, which was flat compared to the prior year’s $62.6 billion. Unit volume was
also flat, holding steady at 26.1 billion items.
Private label dollar sales in supermarkets were down
slightly, 0.4 percent, to 19.2 percent. Private label had
a unit share at 22. 9 percent, so nearly one of every four
items sold in the grocery channel were store brands. The
PLMA Private Label Yearbook compiled sales data pro-
vided by Nielsen for the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, 2015.
The success of private label in supermarkets varied
by department. While many of the top items were fresh
Private label is no longer generic, as consumers seek
their favorite store brands. BY NORA CALEY
STORE BRAND SUCCESS