SymphonyIRI Releases Two New Reports on the Strength of Private Brands

SymphonyIRI Group, Inc. announced today the availability of two intriguingnew reports that analyze the dynamics of today’s Private Brand market. IRI is a familiar player in the retail research and analysis category so it is no surprise they re reporting on Private brands, However the join a swelling crowd of business attempting to take advantage of the increase in Private Brand.

The new executive research, titled “Understanding and Mitigating the Private Label Threat,” which is published annually, provides a highly-detailed, 146-page perspective on the Private Brand market and is tailored for national brand manufacturers. The current issue of SymphonyIRI Group’s monthly Times & Trends, “Store Brands: More Than Just a Safe Harbor in Turbulent Times,” provides manufacturers and retailers insight into current and emerging Private Brand trends as well as influencing factors that are helping to define the CPG industry of tomorrow.

Information from these reports will assist marketers as they develop their product, pricing, merchandising and promotion strategies moving forward.

“Store brands growth galloped during the recession as shoppers revised their definition of value to be much more focused on price,” said Sean Seitzinger, senior vice president, Consulting & Innovation, SymphonyIRI. “Today, growth continues at albeit a slower pace as the economy recovers, but store brands are here to stay and are gaining in importance. As retailers accelerate investment in aggressive assortment, product and promotion strategies, we expect store brands to play a critical role in offering value and differentiation.”

Among the principal findings of these new reports:

  • Dollar and unit share each grew 0.2 share points, to 18.3 percent and 23.1 percent, respectively, in 2010 over 2009; contrasting with growth of 1 point and 1.3 points in 2009 over 2008.
  • Dollar and convenience stores enjoyed the most rapid unit share growth of 1.1 points and 0.9 points, respectively.
  • The healthcare department witnessed the most significant store brand growth in both dollar and unit share of 2.6 points and 1.7 points, respectively.
  • On average, store brands offer a savings of 30.5 percent as compared to national brands, but average price gap varies widely across departments. These savings range from as low as 7 percent in fresh/perishable products to nearly 61 percent in beauty and personal care products.
  • Store brand sales tend to be more concentrated versus the CPG industry as a whole. One-third of shoppers account for 62 percent of store brand sales, and the top 50 categories of store brand products account for more than two-thirds of store brand sales, versus 59 percent for the CPG industry as a whole.

Both reports outline important strategies for manufacturers to consider, among these:

  • Continually identify and assess brand-specific opportunities, such as optimal price gaps versus store brands and means to protect and grow share in categories where there is a strong store brand presence through value-oriented promotions.
  • On an ongoing basis, redefine pricing strategies to ensure alignment against the needs of key consumer segments, invest in product, packaging and promotion innovation across key categories, and implement highly-targeted and affordability-oriented marketing campaigns where store brands exhibit the greatest threat.
  • Implement metrics to monitor actual versus planned impact of store-brand related initiatives.

In addition, the “Understanding and Mitigating the Private Label Threat” research includes a section devoted to specific-store brand mitigation strategies as well as provides multiple case histories.

The Times & Trends report also offers a section on recommended retailer strategies, which include:

  • Continue to understand core shopper needs and align new product strategies accordingly; tailor offering at the market level, while supporting store brands with consumer-centric and highly-integrated marketing campaigns.
  • Evaluate feasibility of multi-tier offerings across key categories and product lines, review pricing strategies to ensure alignment with store goals and analyze product development best practices across departments to identify low-cost innovation opportunities.
  • As with manufacturers, retailers should test market product, pricing and promotional changes before and after rollout as well as track/benchmark store-level brand share shifts relative to national brands.

“Store brand success moving forward hinges on real marketing prowess,” said Susan Viamari, editor, Times & Trends, SymphonyIRI. “The need to understand and deliver against the most pressing needs of consumers is high. Those who do so effectively will be rewarded with share of wallet and, perhaps, true shopper loyalty.”

About the Reports
The new Executive Research, “Understanding and Mitigating the Private Label Threat,” is the result of recently-completed research conducted by surveying members of SymphonyIRI’s Consumer Network. For detailed information about the report’s availability and pricing, contact Sean Seitzinger at

This month’s Times & Trends: “Store Brands: More than Just a Safe Harbor in Turbulent Times,” is a free report available from SymphonyIRI, the world’s leading innovation partner that enables CPG, retail and healthcare companies to create and maximize new opportunities. The findings of this report were compiled based on information from SymphonyIRI MarketInsight™ and the SymphonyIRI Consumer Network.

Download the special report.

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Christopher Durham
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.