Brands overshadowed by growing success of own label

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Own label products are continuing to take a larger bite out of the UK grocery sector as the price of branded goods continues to rise as the quality and premium credentials of own label goods improves, according to analysts IRI.

Own label goods are now outperforming national brands with a 52.5% value share of sales, new data from IRI’s Private Label report shows.

It is the fourth consecutive year that own label products have grown their share in the UK, and at 1 percentage point the annual growth rate is the highest seen across Europe.

Homecare and personal care goods, such as dishwasher products, kitchen roll, and toiletry items are delivering the most notable share gain from own label, followed by the ambient food sector where retailers have been investing in expanding their crisps, nuts, popcorn and biscuit ranges.

Despite the growth of branded premium beers and spirits, the report also shows big wins for own label wines, sparkling wines and the emerging ready-to-drink mixes segment.

IRI senior regional insights manager Olly Abotorabi said: “Since the 1980s when private label products were often perceived as poor imitations of brands, today they are often the product of choice. Private label has come a very long way.

“Retailers have invested heavily, particularly at the premium end of the market providing improved quality and differentiation in a bid to drive customer loyalty.

“It’s evident in retailer messaging through to sales growth across a variety of categories. Products are increasingly aligned to evolved shopper habits and virtues whether that’s health, indulgence, portability, sustainability or environmental issues. However, premiumisation and heavy persistent promotional activity from brands is helping them maintain value share.

“Given the increased product quality, new ranges, emerging channel opportunities and recent buying alliance announcements between retailers we expect to see own label making further gains.” 

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