A new report by research agency Canadean reveals that Private Brand beers are gaining market share on their branded rivals in Western Europe. However, while Private Brands’ share may be rising, volumes are not, a reflection of Private Brand products falling at a slower rate than branded products.
While the market share of Private Brand brews has increased from 5.2 percent in 2004 to 7.2 percent in 2009, Canadean attributes much of that “growth” to a less “traumatic” downturn.
Indeed, in 2009, branded beers fell at roughly three percent in overall volumes, compared to one percent for private label beers. The recession has had a marked effect on alcohol consumption in Europe, with volumes of on-premise drinking (bars and restaurant) down sharply. By contrast, private label beers are almost exclusively sold in supermarkets and thus have resisted much of the impact of on-premise consumption decreases.
Private Brand beer penetration overall in Europe is low—7 percent—as the leading European brewers are supported by substantial marketing budgets and there is an abundance of discount brands. It is highest in Spain (15 percent) and France (17 percent), countries whose residents, Canadean speculated, view private label brands as more of a commodity. Additionally, on-site beer consumption in France is 25 percent lower than the regional average, so consumers are more exposed to private label brands at markets.
The report concludes that further growth share of Private Brand beers is likely, due to off-premise consumption that continues to rise.