Private Label Today

PRIVATE LABEL GAINS ACROSS EUROPE, CLIMBING TO ALL-TIME HIGHS IN SEVEN COUNTRIES

Retailer brands keep gaining popularity across Europe. The latest Nielsen data shows that market share for private label increased last year in 12 of 19 countries, and now stands at 30% or above in 17 countries.

Private label 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 programmes 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.

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 programme enters the country.

WHAT ARE PRIVATE LABEL PRODUCTS?
Private label products encompass all merchandise sold under a retailer's brand. That brand can be the retailer's own name or a name created exclusively by that retailer. In some cases, a retailer may belong to a wholesale group that owns the brands that are available to only the members of the group.

WHAT PRODUCTS ARE SOLD AS PRIVATE LABEL?
Major supermarkets, hypermarkets, drug stores and discounters today offer almost any product under the retailer's brand. Private label cover full lines of fresh, canned, frozen, and dry foods; snacks, ethnic specialties, pet foods, health and beauty, over-the-counter drugs, cosmetics, household and laundry products, DIY, lawn and garden, paints, hardware and auto aftercare.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PRIVATE LABEL?
For the consumer, private label represents the choice and opportunity to regularly purchase quality food and non-food products at savings compared to manufacturer brands, without waiting for promotional pricing. Private label items consist of the same or better ingredients than the manufacturer brands, and because the retailer's name or symbol is on the package, the consumer is assured that the product meets the retailer's quality standards and specifications.

WHO MAKES PRIVATE LABEL?
Manufacturers of private label products fall into three general classifications:

  • Large manufacturers who produce both their own brands and private label products.
  • Small and medium size manufacturers that specialise in particular product lines and concentrate on producing private label almost exclusively.
  • Major retailers and wholesalers that operate their own manufacturing plants and provide private label products for their own stores. 

A UNIQUE ORGANISATION FOR A UNIQUE INDUSTRY
The private label business is unique. It has it's own needs and objectives. That's why there is a trade association that serves the industry exclusively. Founded in 1979, the Private Label Manufacturers Association is the international trade organisation dedicated to the promotion of private label brands. With offices in Amsterdam and New York, PLMA represents more than 4,000 manufacturers and suppliers worldwide, ranging from companies that specialise in private label to those that produce private label products in addition to their own manufacturer brands. PLMA offers trade shows, programmes, and services that are specifically designed for the industry.