According to the latest report from IRI Times & Trends, private label unit share has grown 12 points to 22.8 percent over the past 12 months, while dollar share has grown 0.7 points to 17.6 percent. Growth was highest in the grocery sector, driven by at-home food rituals and continued consumer focus on low-cost products.
"Last year I noted that during the 2008 economic freefall, shoppers were flocking to private brands for relief from rapidly escalating food prices," said IRI Consulting and Innovation president Thom Blischok.
"Today, the economy has stabilized, food prices are increasing at a much slower rate, but the growth of private brands continues, creating strong opportunities for retailers and serving as a cautionary tale for manufacturers."
The report found that private labels are increasingly being embraced as familiar, mainstream products which can compete with national brands on quality.
"Many private label brands are now viewed as similar, perhaps even superior, to brand named products," states the report.
They also continue to deliver on price - with the average private label discount versus national brand about 30 percent.
It is not all bad news for brands, however. Despite recent growth, private sales are still concentrated in the hands of a relatively small number of consumers, with heavy buyers of private label accounting for 62 percent of private label sales.