Private Label Buyer

Making an impact

February 1, 2004

Making an impact

Private label continues to increase its presence across a range of categories.

By Jill Bruss

No one can deny that private label continues to make a significant impact on the retail environment. An improved perception among consumers is driving sales as more people discover the quality and value proposition of private brands. Retailers are aiming for higher penetration and are re-focusing efforts on private label programs. Across the store there are categories where private label claims a significant share. In some areas, private label brands are outpacing the growth of national brands.
According to Chicago-based Information Resources Inc., a number of areas across food, beverage and non-food are dominated by private label. Dozens carry the distinction of claiming more than 33 percent share of their respective categories or subcategories.

Significant ‘share of type’
IRI data shows a large number of areas where private label accounts for more than one-third dollar share of type. Share of type represents the context of private label within a particular subcategory and can be extremely telling. Private label maraschino cherries, for example, represent 76.9 percent of the subcategory, which is a $44.3-million category. While private label in the entire baking needs category — a $1,137.3-million business — only accounts for 16.4 percent dollar share or $186 million, maraschino cherries dominate their small, but mighty, subcategory.
Private label frozen carrots account for 74.3 percent of the subcategory, generating almost $30 million in sales. Private label refrigerated grated cheese — a $55-million business – claims 63.8 percent share. As a total category, natural cheese brings in about $5.6 billion with private label representing 39.1 percent share or $2.2 billion.
In non-food, private label is also making an impact at retail by owning large portions of certain categories. Private label paper bags are 79.5 percent of the subcategory, with private label food and trash bags claiming 34.5 percent share of the total category.
Double-digit growth
A handful of categories rang in sales last year resulting in double-digit increases. Private label refrigerated non-dairy toppings increased 25.7 percent to $6.2 million. In the chilled case, private label natural cheese (not shredded) reached $1,140.4 million, up 14.1 percent, and refrigerated fresh eggs reached $1,919.2 million, up 16.2 percent.
On the shelf-stable side, private label canned/bottled mushrooms increased sales 11.3 percent to $102 million, and shelf-stable honey surged 28.6 percent, outpacing the overall subcategory by 10 percent.
In the freezer, private label frozen carrots grew 53 percent to almost $30 million, and private label frozen fish and seafood increased 16.4 percent to $655.9 million, doubling the growth of the total category. PLB
Category  Dollar Sales (in millions) % Change vs. yr. ago Dollar share Unit SALES (in millions) % change Vs. Yr. Ago
Pies and Cakes
Private label$450.91.0%56.2%84.1-1.2%
Total category$802.41.3%100%180.2-1.0%
Cakes (no snack/coffee cakes)
Private label$339.45.6%56.2%57.25.7%
Total subcategory$604.22.7%100%132.01.2%
Pies (no snack pies)
Private label$111.5-10.9%56.3%26.9-13.3%
Total subcategory$198.1-2.7%100%48.2-6.4%
Fresh Bread and Rolls*
Private label$2,394.12.1%28.5%2,049.20.3%
Total category$8,411.52.1%100%4,989.5-0.8%
Fresh Rolls/Buns/Croissants
Private label$707.14.8%38.0%634.22.5%
Total subcategory$1,858.93.4%100%1,243.60.9%
Private label$531.9-7.2%45.3%241.8-0.7%
Total category$1,173.5-6.2%100%483.4-0.4%
Cottage Cheese
Private label$335.3-4.3%37.6%160.1-2.6%
Total category$892.8-0.8%100%414.8-0.3%
Refrigerated Fresh Eggs
Private label$1,939.616.2%70%1,311.60.1%
Total category$2,769.118.6%100%1,785.22.8%
Natural Cheese
Private label$2,174.410.7%39.1%887.410.3%
Total category$5,557.07.9%100%2,071.77.7%
Natural Cheese (no shredded)
Private label$1,140.414.1%36.4%475.214.6%
Total subcategory$3,134.511.2%100%1,141.610.8%
Natural Shredded Cheese
Private label$883.78.4%45.4%356.06.8%
Total subcategory$1,945.44.8%100%775.15.1%
Refrigerated Grated Cheese
Private label$55.13.8%63.8%18.81.0%
Total subcategory$86.42.3%100%27.0-0.3%
Private label$6,557.4-1.5%60.5%2,798.2-3.1%
Total category$10.8-0.2%100%4,736.3-1.7%
Refrigerated Skim/Lowfat Milk
Private label$4,160.0-2.1%64.0%1,790.5-3.7%
Total subcategory$6,503.2-1.5%100%2,812.8-3.0%
Refrigerated Whole Milk
Private label$2,145.6-0.8%66.5%882.0-2.4%
Total subcategory$3,224.30.3%100%1,349.3-1.2%
Powdered Milk
Private label$23.5-5.2%57.3%4.4-4.1%
Total category$41.1-4.5%100%8.9-4.5%
Refrigerate Juices and Drinks*
Private label$590.9-9.8%13.4%280.1-9.3%
Total category$4,401.1-2.0%100%1,746.0-1.3%
Refrigerated Apple Juice
Private label$5.8-14.5%52.2%2.5-15.2%
Total subcategory$11.1-8.0%100%4.7-22.9%
Baking Needs*
Private label$186.04.4%16.4%125.3-0.6%
Total category$1,137.30.4%100%605.4-42.9%
Private label$16.97.8%41.5%11.15.1%
Total subcategory$40.74.6%100%24.41.3%
Maraschino Cherries
Private label$34.10.6%76.9%19.3-4.0%
Total subcategory$44.30.4%100%25.5-4.3%
Private label$749.22.1%33.1%1,278.11.6%
Total category$2,260.10.2%100%3,143.9-1.0%
Canned/Bottled Carrots
Private label$17.00.8%49.4%30.31.4%
Total subcategory$34.4-0.4%100%52.7-1.5%
Canned/Bottled Corn
Private label$162.1-0.1%35.9%30.3331.1%
Total subcategory$451.9-2.2%100%735.3-2.7%
Canned/Bottled Green Beans
Private label$152.63.0%36.0%295.33.6%
Total subcategory$423.50.7%100%672.0-0.1%
Canned/Bottled Mushrooms
Private label$102.011.3%61.1%118.44.3%
Total subcategory$167.02.6%100%186.8-0.9%
Canned/Bottled Spinach
Private label$13.5-1.8%34.1%19.00.2%
Total subcategory$39.5-2.4%100%53.4-2.9%
Potato/Sweet Potato
Private label$36.0-0.8%34.0%51.2-3.0%
Total subcategory$105.91.6%100%109.6-1.2%
Private label$58.82.4%44.6%55.41.1%
Total category$131.75.0%100%107.52.1%
Shelf-Stable Honey
Private label$92.028.6%47.6%25.2-3.3%
Total category$193.319.8%100%50.8-5.1%
Shelf-Stable Coffee Creamer
Private label$106.30.2%39.3%55.0-1.5%
Total category$270.5-0.4%100%116.5-2.6%
Shelf-Stable Bottled JuiceS
Private label$668.3-0.4%17.8%366.2-0.9%
Total category$3,747.31.5%100%1,862.5-1.9%
Shelf-Stable Bottled Apple Juice
Private label$228.15.8%38.9%148.76.0%
Total category$585.83.7%100%315.22.6%
Shelf-Stable Bottled Cider
Private label$28.6-6.7%34.9%13.4-5.1%
Total category$82.1-3.1%100%34.5-3.1%
Shelf-Stable Bottled Pineapple Juice
Private label$6.47.2%94.5%2.07.7%
Total subcategory$6.87.1%100%2.27.9%
Bottled Water
Private label$661.414.6%20.2%602.54.7%
Total category$3,269.213.1%100%1,950.11.4%
Jug/Bulk Still Water
Private label$338.21.0%41.9%376.8-1.0%
Total subcategory$807.0-3.0%100%731.6-4.4%
Frozen Plain Vegetables
Private label$742.23.5%45.5%545.31.3%
Total category$1,630.40.7%100%1,048.6-0.8%
Private label$106.14.3%48.0%74.62.7%
Total subcategory$221.03.5%100%139.91.7%
Frozen Broccoli
Private label$95.03.2%48.7%72.1-0.7%
Total subcategory$195.31.4%100%130.1-1.6%
Private label$29.753.0%74.3%18.726.0%
Total subcategory$40.033.4%100%24.817.8%
Frozen Corn
Private label$78.4-1.4%37.9%53.6-0.8%
Total subcategory$207.1-4.3%100%129.6-4.9%
Frozen Mixed Vegetables
Private label$192.10.3%42.0%129.7-0.4%
Total subcategory$457.5-3.0%100%265.3-3.3%
Frozen Peas
Private label$85.4-2.9%41.9%60.1-3.2%
Total subcategory$204.1-2.5%100%127.5-3.8%
Frozen Seafood
Private label$655.916.4%39.6%89.720.4%
Total category$1,656.18.4%100%284.95.8%
Baby Needs*
Private label$55.5-8.5%14.8%26.5-10.8%
Total category$376.4-0.2%100%125.2-2.7%
petroleum jelly
Private label$16.9-4.5%37.5%8.7-8.5%
Total subcategory$45.1-4.9%100%20.1-6.3%
cotton balls/swabs
Private label$112.8-2.2%48.1%68.23.7%
Total category$234.7-3.8%100%120.9-5.6%
Cosmetics – Nail*
Private label$52.03.2%8.8%35.60.6%
Total category$592.7-4.3%100%223.3-5.7%
Nail Polish Removers
Private label$26.9-4.0%49.6%21.6-8.3%
Total subcategory$54.2-5.0%100%37.1-6.9%
Private label$721.54.5%29.1%110.51.3%
Total category$2,476.75.1%100%302.21.9%
1&2 Letter Vitamins
Private label$193.3-7.2%44.9%38.5-5.5%
Total subcategory$430.3-4.7%100%72.2-4.2%
Food and Trash Bags
Private label$569.7-0.1%34.5%265.9-2.4%
Total category$1,651.0-2.0%100%619.6-3.9%
Paper Bags
Private label$16.8-5.6%79.5%12.2-7.5%
Total subcategory$21.1-5.7%100%15.3-8.1%
Sandwich/Freezer/Food Storage Bags
Private label$262.0-2.1%34.4%145.9-3.7%
Total subcategory$762.7-2.1%100%349.9-3.5%
Processed cheese*
Private label$522.7-5.7%22.0%221.9-3.8%
Total category$2,376.2-2.9%100%851.2-1.2
Processed Shredded CHeese
Private label$4.115.4%54.3%1.722.8%
Total subcategory$7.60.0%100%3.28.5%