Tracking private label

The Private Label Manufacturers Association’s annual yearbook shows continued growth for store brand products.

Private label remains the talk of the town in the supermarket industry.
With more retailers looking to develop their own store brands—and more suppliers releasing brand-equivalent products—the private label segment seems to be in pretty good shape in terms of sales and profits.

According to the Private Label Manufacturers Association’s (PLMA) annual yearbook, which is being released this month, the segment seems to be doing better than okay. In fact, New York-based PLMA reports that private label products continue to rack up impressive numbers across a number of important categories.

The yearbook shows that private label accounts for more than 50% of sales in such key segments as milk, sugar/sugar substitute, fresh eggs, pain remedies and first aid. Private label also holds a large share of sales in such markets as wrapping materials, canned vegetables and canned fruit.

“We are well past the point where private label is a novelty with retailers and consumers,” says one Southeast grocery retailer. “Now it is a question of, just how far can we go with private label—in nearly every category in the store? I think there are limits but I would not be shocked if eventually store brands controlled 30% to 40% of almost every segment.”

The PLMA study shows strong growth in such segments as fruit punch, glazes and nuts (jars) as well as in headache remedies, antacids, pet products and car cleaners.

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