Private Brand Growth & the Recession

Private Brand is everywhere and the major trade magazines seem to be no exception, Advertising Age seems to regularly include articles about Private Brand. The article below features the NPD report I published earlier as well as comments from Bill Schober, editorial director of the In-Store Marketing Institute.

Don’t Blame Private-Label Gains on the Recession
No-Names Brands Have Been Picking up Momentum for Past Decade Across Demographics

By Emily Bryson York

CHICAGO ( — Private label growth didn’t start gaining momentum in the downturn.

grocerybag2Not only have private label brands been gaining share for the past decade, experts say these gains are the single-biggest problem facing branded packaged goods players. House brands, once a staple of lower-income households, now enjoy roughly equal penetration among demographic segments. Improvements in quality and packaging have helped removed the stigma attached to buying a no-name product.

According to an NPD study released today, house brands now make up 24% of all food and beverages served in U.S. homes, up from 18% in 1999. Stripping away beverages, private label accounts for roughly 30% of all food served in U.S. homes. And 97% of households purchase unbranded products from time to time.

“This is a trend, but not just because of economic difficulties,” said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at the Port Washington, N.Y.-based research firm. He said that private-label consumption appeared flat over the past year. Survey participants told NPD that they chose private labels because of price and value, but many also felt the quality is similar — if not superior to — name-branded products.

Read the entire article

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.