PRIVATE LABEL is growing across channels.
Private-label dollar sales rose 3.9% to $86.6 billion in U.S. supermarkets with more than $2 million in sales, drug chains with more than $1 million in sales and mass merchandisers, including Wal-Mart Stores, based on the 52 weeks ending Nov. 28, 2009, compared with the same period in 2008, according to Nielsen. During the same period, unit sales increased 5.1% to 40.3 billion.
Dollar sales in supermarkets grew 3.6% to $55.6 billion.
Drug store chains show particular promise, with sales increasing nearly 10% to $6.1 billion.
Drug chain Duane Reade recently launched a line of food and beverage items under the DR Delish label.
Initial products in the 100-item line include packaged juices, teas, trail mix crunches, baked potato crisps, multigrain snacks, brownies and cookies.
Private label is also making a statement in the convenience store channel. 7-Eleven recently added 15 snack cakes, pastries, mini-donuts and other packaged bakery items to its year-old “7-Select” brand.
New items include cookies, candy, nuts, potato chips, beef jerky, trail mix, chocolate-covered pretzels, coffee espresso beans, raisins and peanuts. Suggested retail prices are about 10% to 20% less than the national-brand equivalent.
Not only do the 7-Select snacks have to meet or beat name-brand quality, they needed to beat the price or offer a better value. This means a lower price vs. the comparable branded item or, in some cases, more product for the same price.