Nielsen: Private-Label Organic Growth May Be Slowing

Sales of private-label organic foods and beverages are still growing, but the explosive growth of years past may be leveling off, according to new data from the Nielsen Co.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Sales of private-label organic foods and beverages are still growing, but the explosive growth of years past may be leveling off, according to new data from the Nielsen Co. While it’s premature to say organic is at its peak, the days of private label’s 25% growth may be on the wane, Tom Pirovano, Nielsen’s director of industry insights, said Friday in a conference call hosted by Citi Investment Research. “I predict that in 2009, organic growth will be under 10%,” he said.

Meanwhile, overall private-label sales are on the fast track. Private-label dollar sales grew $7.4 billion to $80.3 billion in food, drug and mass (including Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ending Aug. 9. For the same period, private-label dollar share of store was up 0.9 points to 16.2%. While recent private-label dollar growth has been driven more by pricing than by unit volume, that trend started to change over the summer. Unit sales grew 3% in food, drug, and mass (excluding Wal-Mart) for the 28 weeks ending Sept. 6.

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