Private label – maintaining momentum

Published: 1-Mar-2012

Private label grew during the recession as consumers looked increasingly at value for money. Brands like Superdrug, Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Walmart and El Corte Inglés responded with own brand products. But can they continue to hold the ground they gained?

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Private label represents a value alternative to branded names and are increasingly taking centre stage. But can the sector continue to hold the ground it gained during the recession, asks Julia Wray

During the early years of the downturn, private label beauty and personal care shook off its ‘poor relation’ stigma and became a force to be reckoned with as people sought to look good for less. Consumers had always expected own brand products to be functional but suddenly they required them to be innovative and desirable too: the recession had made private label sexy.

And to date the bubble is yet to burst. “Global demand in this category has been good. It has generally followed the surge in growth that marked private label in North America and Europe as a result of economic downturn,” comments Brian Sharoff, president of the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA). “There is no doubt that branded companies have been very aggressive in trying to regain market share and have made inroads in private label penetration. But looking at market share over a ten year period, private label has expanded very well. Obviously, manufacturers who work with retailers to produce private label and exclusive brands have benefited.”

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