Store Brand or Private Label Growth: The Trend Continues

Store brands or Private Label continue to grow in sales and volume in the U.S. market, extending a trend that was accelerated by the recession but begun years earlier.

Nearly 1 out of 4 products bought in U.S. supermarkets last year was a store brand and market share rose to all-time record highs of 18.7% dollar share and 23.7% unit share. In fact, store brands accounted for almost 90% of all new revenue in the channel.

In drug stores the results were equally positive with records set for private label dollar share at 14.1% and unit share at 16.3%. Private label was responsible for more than half of all sales gains.

Among all retail outlets — which combine point-of-sale data for supermarkets, drug stores and mass merchandisers — there were similar advances with all-time highs posted in dollar share at 17%, and unit share at 21.8%. Store brands contributed 63% of additional dollar revenue.

Private label’s track record predates the recession and projects beyond it as well. Over the past five years, annual private label sales have increased by 34% to $55.5 billion in supermarkets and by 45% to $6.1 billion in drug stores. Over a three year period, private label sales have increased by 14% to $86.4 billion in all retail outlets, according to PLMA’s 2010 Private Label Yearbook, which is based on data from The Nielsen Company.

Booz & Company agrees: “The shift to private label started before the recession, but has accelerated and shows no immediate signs of slowing down. Many consumers are having a good experience with private label and would need a reason to switch back to brands. There is significant room for the shift to continue; as a result, the medium-term outlook for private label is for it to continue to take share.”

While the official numbers are compelling enough, the most accurate figure for all private label food and non-food grocery sales in the U.S. is actually well north of $86.4 billion.

There is an estimated $15 to $20 billion in private label sales in channels that are not traditionally counted, such as in warehouse clubs, limited assortment/box stores, convenience stores and dollar stores, producing a grand total that almost certainly exceeds $100 billion.

A major factor in private label expansion is product innovation, particularly in the area of health claims. Says Nielsen: “U.S. retailers continue to make progress in offering store brand products with claims relevant to shoppers looking for healthier choices. Store brands flexed their marketing muscle in the health claims arena putting impressive growth numbers in emerging areas.”

Source: Private Label Trade Show

Lice Category Trend

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 6 million to 12 million infestations occur each year in the United States among children 3 to 11 years of age.

According to Nielsen First Aid Drug Store sales data, the total lice sale was about $37M in Drug Stores only. Overall market for lice products is estimated at over $100M.The top 10 brands are shown below per their Drug Store sales in the last 52 weeks.

Brand Drug Store Sales – current 52 weeks
RID $13,119,963
PRIVATE LABEL $11,539,652
NIX $6,278,930
LICE MD $1,705,425
LICE FREEE! $1,379,474
SUNMARK $296,197
LICE SHIELD $283,655
NIX PF $194,454
LICE GUARD $161,590