Product Focus: Private Label Gets Public Notice

Feb. 25, 2015
Retailers are trying to offer more affordable healthy food options through the introduction of store brands.
Year after year across the U.S., private label’s growth continues to outpace national brands. According to Private Label Foods & Beverages in the U.S., 8th Edition, a recent report by market research firm Packaged Facts, private label accounted for almost a fifth of the $530 billion total food and beverage market dollar sales in 2013, up about 2 percent from the previous year. Looking ahead, Packaged Facts projects retail dollar sales of private-label foods and beverages will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 4 percent to reach $122 billion in 2018.

Dairy products lead the private-label sector. Led by milk, private-label dairy beverages account for nearly 50 percent of total unit dairy beverage sales. Dairy’s strength in private label is driven in part by the relatively short shelf life of most products in the dairy case, resulting in many regional and local products and more private-label products than national brands. This holds true for private-label dairy food products as well, which is led by cheese, eggs and butter and account for 32 percent of total unit sales.

A growing trend for private label is health and wellness. Many retailers are trying to offer more affordable healthy food options through the introduction of store brands. Natural and organic private-label brands have been around for a number of years led by Safeway’s O Organics, Stop & Shop and Giant’s Nature’s Promise, Food Lion and Hannaford’s Nature’s Place, and Supervalu’s Wild Harvest. These brands continue to expand and update with a focus on healthy product attributes. Other retailers are catching up with the natural and organic trend, launching private-label brands for first time.

Likewise, several leading private-label retailers have evolved natural and organic positions to more modern wellness brands that shift focus from product attributes to lifestyle enhancement. For example, Kroger’s Simple Truth, Target’s Simply Balanced and Aldi’s Simply Nature all attempt to provide consumers with easy solutions for taking care of themselves and their families. The brands cross many food & beverage categories with affordable, nutritious products that are natural or organic, and free of artificial ingredients.

Whole Foods Partners with Kids’ Book Illustrator

Whole Foods Market and The World of Eric Carle, the award-winning brand based on works by the acclaimed children’s author and illustrator, have teamed up to create a series of 365 Everyday Value cereal boxes featuring games for children and Carle’s signature artwork, including the beloved “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Carle’s distinctive art and iconic characters are featured on the packaging of nine varieties of the natural foods retailer’s private-label cereal brand, including three new products: Little Cubbies, Rainbow Morning O’s and Organic Honey & Nut Morning O’s. Visit the website

Aldi Makes Gluten-Free Affordable

Aldi, a leading low-price private-label grocery chain, has made its exclusive gluten-free LiveGfree brand a permanent addition. The line features 17 items from bread, pasta and pretzels to cookies, brownie mix and granola to chicken nuggets, pizza and lasagna. Adding LiveGfree products to its year-round offerings was a direct response by the company after the product line’s initial debut as a limited-time offering. Compared to similar products at mainstream grocers, the LiveGfree items cost up to 50 percent less. Visit the website

Publix Introduces Indulgent Yogurt

Publix, the largest employee-owned U.S. grocery chain with more than 1,000 stores and 10 manufacturing facilities in the Southeast, introduces Publix Premium Indulgent Yogurt. This yogurt disguised as dessert comes in 4.7-oz. dual-compartment containers, with whole milk yogurt in one part and indulgent mix-ins in the other. Varieties include: Cherries Jubilee with Choco Oatmeal Clusters, Coconut with Coconut Almond Granola Pieces, Key Lime Pie with Graham Cookie Pieces, Mint with Peppermint Cups, Pineapple Mojito with Sea Salt Toasted-Coconut Granola and White Chocolate Raspberry with Raspberry Chocolate Cups. Visit the website

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