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Amid High Commodities Costs, Private Brand Sales Grow
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Amid High Commodities Costs, Private Brand Sales Grow

Sales of private brands are up 10% this year — to $80.3 billion in the U.S., Nielsen reported Friday.

Private label dollar sales are being driven primarily by higher commodity pricing — especially in staple categories that are dominated by private brands. But in recent weeks, private label unit sales have also grown — a sign that consumers are starting to shift away from established brands in search of better deals.

Among private label food brands, flour (+35%), baby food (+33%), and fresh eggs (+28.2%) showed the largest dollar percent change during the 52 weeks ending September 6, compared with the prior 52-week period.  Unit sales for those products remained flat during the same period: flour was up 7.2%, fresh eggs dropped 0.9%, and pasta grew by 0.6%.

Among non-food private label products, soaps and bath products (+23%), cough and cold remedies (+18%), and hair care products (+18%) showed the largest dollar sales growth during the period.  Paper products, like paper plates, paper towels, and toilet tissue, and aluminum foil were the top-selling non-food private label items.

Across categories, health and wellness-oriented private brands also showed significant growth, according to Nielsen.  Products claiming to be “natural” (+11.4%) or “organic” (+22.5%), lacking in trans fat or saturated fat (+30.5%), or containing “multi-grains” (+16.6%) or “antioxidants” (+15.8%) showed the largest dollar sales growth during the period.  Products that claimed to contain no calories (-0.6%) or to be caffeine free (-2.2%) showed the only negative growth.

Among organic private label items, milk, eggs, and produce — like mini carrots and salad mixes — were the top-selling items.

View in depth private label sales data from Nielsen.

Learn more about private label sales in convenience stores.

Read more about overall private label trends in Nielsen’s “Consumer Insight” newsletter.