Private Label Buyer

PLMA Yearbook Shows Private Label Sales Up in 2011

June 15, 2012

The 2012 Private Label Manufacturers Association’s (PLMA) Private Label Yearbook shows that private label products gained 3.9 percent in dollar sales in 2011, even as unit sales for private label products fell by 1.5 percent.

Private label products across all channels – including food, drug and mass merchandisers – outpaced national brands last year. Dollar sales for private label reached a record $92.7 billion last year, while national brand sales rose 0.6 percent in 2011 from a year earlier to $423.1 billion.

Although private label unit sales fell 1.5 percent, national brands fell further, dipping 1.7 percent in unit sales in 2011.

The data, though, suggests that as sales of all products slows, inflation is helping raise dollar sales for both private label and national brand products.

Since 2007, private label sales have grown at an annual rate of 5 percent, far outpacing national brand sales growth of an average of less than 1 percent. That increase is shown most in the drug channel, where private label sales have grown 9.1 percent since 2007, while national brands have gained just 2.3 percent.

In supermarket sales analysis, dairy continues to be the leading category for dollar sales in private label, gaining 0.7 percent share last year to 40.4 percent of all sales. Fresh meats were the biggest gainer in share last year, growing 2.2 percent to 36.8 percent, second in categories behind dairy.

In the drug channel analysis, private label dollar shares gain 0.9 percent in the health and beauty aids department – by far the largest category in the drug channel – to 21 percent. Some of the biggest gains, though, came in the refrigerated and frozen foods departments. Sales in that category are only 2.7 percent of the total drug channel market, but private label sales grew 12.5 percent in those areas in 2011.

And in the alcoholic beverage category, which is 5.8 percent of total drug sales, private label sales grew 26 percent last year.