Private labels account for 38% of total FMCG value sales

Private labels now make up 38% of total FMCG value sales in Europe as shoppers continue to look for deals on everyday groceries.

A total of €229 bn (£199 bn) of private labels were made.

According to Circana’s latest biannual FMCG Demand Signals report, which analysed data from European retailers in UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Netherlands, showed a strong Q4 2022 market performance despite prices of private labels rising higher than national brands.

The firm found that shoppers all across the continent turned to private labels for better prices, quality and value, which includes over 230 FMCG categories, and more than 2,000 product ranges.

The report also revealed strong private label growth across all six of the largest markets in Europe, with the highest penetration in Spain (47%) and Germany (41%), and the lowest in the UK (37%), where shoppers continue to buy the national brands.

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Another key finding from the report showed that national brands aren’t necessarily losing loyalty, but shoppers are buying smaller volumes.

In November, small and mid-sized manufacturers accounted for 36% of total FMCG value sales in Europe.

Shoppers are also choosing more private labels for edible goods, with the biggest price inflation almost entirely centred on food categories like chilled, fresh, and ambient foods.

Among non-food categories, there has been greater penetration of private labels in household care, especially staples such as laundry and hygiene items.

In fact, private label shoppers are seeking a balance of price ,with 78% actively looking for the lowest prices, and quality, with 72% paying attention to product labels and 63% checking product claims on every shopping trip.

Retailers are trying to counter this by introducing innovative products around new trends, such as zero or no-alcohol beers, or plant-based meat.

“Private labels have come a long way since their arrival on the shelves approximately 40 years ago,” Circana global SVP of strategic growth insights Ananda Roy said.

“Retailer investments are paying off as more consumers perceive private labels as being innovative and as good or better than many of the national brands that they compete with.

“As a result, they are no longer the ‘cheap’ alternative. Shoppers buy them because they offer something new and of good quality.”



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