Private Brand Widens Growth Gap

Store Brands Market Share 

PLMA YEarbook chart1
Unit market share for store brands was 23.1% in U.S. supermarkets, while dollar share increased to 19.5%. In drug chains unit share was 17.3% and dollar share increased to 16.5%. Unit share was 21% for all outlets combined as dollar share grew to 17.7%. Source: PLMA/Nielsen

As national brands continue to struggle with lower growth year to year in supermarkets, drug chains and mass merchandisers, private brand sales in all the major retail channels continue their upwards trend, setting new records across the board for annual revenue.

When 2014 came to a close, store brands had accounted for nearly three billion dollars in incremental sales overall, an increase of +2.5% over the previous year and more than twice the gain that was recorded by national brands.

Total sales of private label in the U.S. were $115.3 billion according to the 2015 Private Label Yearbook published by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA).

As a result, store brand dollar share moved up across all outlets combined – consisting of supermarkets, drug chains, mass merchandisers, and the club and dollar store channels.

Annual Percent Rate Sales Growth

All Outlets Combined – Source: PLMA/Nielsen

PLMA YEarbook chart2psdOver a three-year period, store brands sales across the combined retail outlets have increased by $5.5 billion, moving store brand dollar market share from 17.3% to 17.7%. The run-ups are much the same in the individual channels. Over that period, the annual sales volumes for store brands have risen by $2.5 billion in supermarkets and risen by $200 million in drug chains.

The PLMA Yearbook utilizes data provided by The Nielsen Company for the 52 weeks ending December 27, 2014. The annual compilation has become the benchmarking standard for retailers and suppliers, where Nielsen sales and market shares statistics are reported for more than 700 product categories.

Ongoing market basket research consistently reveals that shoppers can save about one-third on basic grocery and household items in a typical supermarket by choosing store brands over national brands. Last year, consumers who reached for the store brand version of their favorite food and non-food grocery products rather than the national brand enjoyed an estimated $27 billion in savings, according to PLMA.

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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.