Private Brands Grow as European Shoppers Demand Value

Consumers are turning to Private Brands as opposed to national brands as they become more discriminating across Europe and demand greater value for money, according to new research from SymphonyIRI Group.

According to the latest report ‘Retail Private Label Brands in Europe’, shoppers now consider many Private Brands to be as good as national brands, and in some countries, better.

In fact, the value share of Private Brands has increased in every country, except the United Kingdom, and is now an average of 30% across the region. For consumers, a typical European Private Brand shopping basket costs on average 30% cheaper than one filled with national brands.

The position varies from country to country. In the United Kingdom, the value share is 49.2% of all fast moving consumer goods sold, compared to 16.1% in Italy. And, in USA, this figure is just 18.5%. The greatest increase in Private Brand was in Spain, where the leading retailers have continued to invest in developing multi-tier ranges, recognizing that shoppers are turning ‘back to basics’ to save money.

The United Kingdom is the only country with a decrease in market share reflecting the high-level promotion activity on national brands. France sees its value share remain flat at 31.0%, a result of national brand manufacturers stepping up their marketing activities while private label promotional activities decreased.

Rod Street, vice president of International Consulting at SymphonyIRI Group, said: “European shoppers are becoming much more inclined to assess the quality and value of the products that they buy. With rising unemployment and a major economic crisis in Europe, it’s understandable that the consumer will want to budget for the overall price of their weekly shop and secure maximum value for money.

“Consumers often perceive private label brands to be ‘real’ brands in their own right. As retailer own-label products continue to raise their game, national brands will need to focus on where and how to defend their share of wallet.

“As well as innovating at the product level, retailers have developed clear branding and assortment strategies and leverage their control of shelf space and pricing to drive profile. This presents a real threat to national brands. However, national brands are fighting back, developing new products and technologies to bolster differentiation and becoming more aggressive with pricing and promotional strategies.”

Source: SymphonyIRI Group

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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.