The development that had been touted in some quarters as inevitable -- shoppers' returning en masse to big brands -- failed to materialize for yet another year. Instead, it was business as usual according to data provided to PLMA by The Nielsen Company for the 52 weeks ending December 27, 2013: national brands ceded precious market share, as consumers continued to reach for quality and value in store brands.
In supermarkets, unit and dollar shares rose to 23.4% and 19.4%, respectively. In drug chains, unit market share advanced to 17.3%, while dollar share increased to 16.4%. Across all outlets combined, which includes Wal-Mart, mass merchandisers, the club channel, dollar stores and military exchanges, shares moved up to 21.2% in units and 17.5% in dollars. All share marks are records.
Since 2011, annual sales of store brands in supermarkets have increased 3%, or $1.6 billion, and in drug stores, they have climbed 9%, or $700 million. In all outlets combined, annual sales have grown 5%, or $5.3 billion.
"In response to the trend, retailers across the country are freshening private label offerings and rolling out new products and whole new lines to their shelves," explained PLMA president Brian Sharoff. "Looking ahead, store brand portfolios of leading retailers will likely accelerate their emphasis on consumer-focused positioning."
In announcing the 2014 edition of PLMA's Private Label Yearbook, Sharoff noted, "For the first time, our 22-year-old reference moves from print publication to an exclusively online resource, where store brand performance can more easily be examined and tracked category by category and quarter by quarter, across nine U.S. regional divisions and by channel."