Private Brand Reach All-time High In Europe

Private brands keep gaining popularity across Europe. The latest Nielsen data shows that market share for private label increased last year in 12 of the 19 countries tracked for PLMA’s 2018 International Private Label Yearbook, and now stands at 30% or above in 17 countries.

Private brand reached an all-time high in Europe’s largest retail market, Germany, with its market share there climbing to over 45% for the first time. Market share also increased to its highest levels ever in six other countries: The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Hungary and Turkey.

The gains came even in countries where private label already had very high penetration. Market share for retailer brands climbed in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Portugal, where share was more than 40%.

In the UK, where supermarkets are investing in their private label programs to meet competition from the discounters, market share climbed to more than 46%. Private label’s share has remained above 40% there ever since Nielsen began compiled data for PLMA in 1997.

Private label still accounts for half of the products sold in Spain and Switzerland. Market share in France remained above 30%, but declined as some retailers reduced their price entry brands and moved toward more premium products.

The biggest market share gain was posted in Turkey, where private label climbed by 3 points to nearly 26%. In Greece, retailer brands still account for one of every three products sold in the country.

In Scandinavia, there were gains in Sweden, Norway and Finland, with market share in all three countries above 30%. Private label share also was at 30% or above in four central and eastern European countries—Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia—led by Hungary climbing to 34%. Market share remains above 40% in Austria.

Market share stayed at or above 20% in Italy for the sixth consecutive year but declined by a point last year. Prospects for retailer brands look to improve as Aldi with its strong private label program enters the country.

Tom Pennincks of Nielsen said the gains by private label last year were especially impressive because they came at a time when consumer confidence across Europe was at its highest level in 17 years, demonstrating the growing popularity of private label in all economic conditions.

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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.