Private Label Products Are Back with a Vengeance in the Food Industry

Dec. 15, 2022
Inflation helps make up ground lost during the pandemic.

After losing some ground to branded products during the pandemic, private label is surging during inflationary times, as large food retailers move to take advantage.

In a survey by FMI – the Food Industry Association cited in the Wall Street Journal, more than 80% of respondents plan to increase their investment in private-label products. Kroger increased private-label sales in its most recent quarter by more than 10% year-over-year, during which it introduced 147-new store brand products. It plans to start a new value-conscious private label line. Walmart also expects private label sales to increase.

Branded products experienced something of a surge during the pandemic, as shoppers gravitated toward the familiar. But now that shoppers are pressed by inflation, major food retailers with established private label product lines see a greater opportunity.

They hope to bring sales more in line with European food retailing, where store brands account for a greater share of sales. Koninkijke Ahold Delhaize, based in Holland, owns the Food Lion and Stop & Shop supermarket banners in the U.S.; the share of private-label sales in its U.S. stores was 30%, compared with 50% in its Dutch stores.

About the Author

Pan Demetrakakes | Senior Editor

Pan has written about the food and beverage industry for more than 25 years. His areas of coverage have included formulations, processing, packaging, marketing and retailing. Pan worked for Food Processing Magazine for six years in the 1990s, where he was operations editor (his current role), touring dozens of food plants of every description. He has also worked for Packaging and Food & Beverage Packaging magazines, the latter as chief editor, during which he won three ASBPE awards. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a BA in communications.

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