With the notable exception of Walmart, the mass-market pet food sector remains remarkably resistant to Private Brands (Which is a notable exception given that O’ Roy is the largest dog food brand in the world by a significant margin). In the nonfood pet supplies market, however, Private Brand continues to advance, boosted in part by the recession and ongoing economic doldrums.
According to “Pet Supplies and Pet Care Products in the U.S.,” a recently released market report by Packaged Facts, tracked mass-market sales of nonfood pet supplies increased by just 1% during the 52 weeks ending in May 2012, compared with a 15% jump for private-label sales. This strong performance lifted the private-label share of pet supplies by two percentage points to 23%. The private label share peaks with dog chews, at 42% of dollar sales.
The incursion of private label into nonfood pet supplies reflects a longer-term trend, according to this report. From 2003 to 2009, store brands steadily gained across nonfood pet supplies categories except cat litter, whose private-label share has held steady in the 14% range, a testament to the strength and deep advertising pockets of national brands in the category.
Outside of the mass market, private label is also advancing, including in pet specialty stores, wholesale clubs, and dollar stores. This trend has bite, according to Packaged Facts publisher David Sprinkle. For retailers, private label typically represents higher margins and a chance to build shopper loyalty by promoting attractive and value-positioned brands (not simply lower-priced or discounted products) that shoppers can’t get elsewhere. With virtually all channels that feature pet supplies looking to store brands for growth, national brand marketers must take the case for their brands to consumers like never before while staying at the forefront of substantive product innovation.
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