Private Label Today

PRIVATE LABEL MAINTAINS STRONG POSITION ACROSS EUROPE

Private Label Share by CountryRetailer brands sustained their market share position above 30% in all but two of the eighteen European countries surveyed by Nielsen in 2020 for PLMA’s 2021 International Private Label Yearbook. Nearly half of the countries reached market shares above 40%, whereas the majority showed a positive market penetration.

According to Nielsen’s data, Fresh & Frozen, Dairy and Health & Beauty are the top 3 product categories registering highest positive growth among the 18 countries.

In Europe’s largest retail markets, Germany and the United Kingdom, the private label share stayed well above 40% and retained its strong position.

France reported a significant growth of 7 points to 38.5% market share boosted by the inclusion of sales from discounters, proximity stores and drives in the count by Nielsen for the first time.

In Belgium, market share for retailer brands showed a slight decline which is mainly due to the decline in sales of confectionery and snacks in the country, according to Nielsen findings, while in the Netherlands a slight growth was tracked to 37.1% market share.

In Spain and Switzerland with approximately 50% private label unit market share, nearly half of all products sold are a retailer brand.

Portugal presented the strongest growth under equal research conditions and climbed to a 45% share, sustained by growth of nearly 5 points in total in four years since 2016.

In Central and Eastern Europe, a strong private label market is evident since Nielsen first reported data for the region in 2003 with market shares above 40% in Austria and above 30% in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The biggest increase was registered in Hungary. The country saw a 1.4% growth to 36.2% market share, its highest private label market share and growth ever listed.

Sweden led the way in Scandinavia, with market share climbing 1 point to 34% for the first time, while Finland stayed above 30%.

In the Mediterranean, market shares were able to hold their position of 30% in both Turkey and Greece. In Italy, private label continued the trend upward in 2020, going to a 22.6% market share.

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 4,500 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.