Skip to content

Table of Contents

NEW YORK – Private-brand sales increased 8.2% in the first half of 2023, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.

Store-brand dollar share increased to 18.8% on a record $108 billion in sales in the half-year, while unit share increased to 20.5%, also a new high for private brands, according to the association.

With the increases, store brands sustained the trend of record sales and market share increases that have been evident over the past 18 months, PLMA said.

The success of store brands at the checkout includes outdistancing national brands in two key metrics:

• Store brand dollar sales across all U.S. retail outlets increased 8.2% in the six months to June 18, while national brands’ sales gained 5.1%, according to year-on-year data from Circana. Store brands have had a powerful two-year run, PLMA says, noting that store-brand dollar sales have increased 16% since June 2021.

• In unit sales for the year’s first half, store brands were down 0.5% while national brands fell 3.4%. And the gap may be lengthening, according to PLMA, which cited Circana data for June showing a 0.6% decline for store-brand units compared national brands’ 5.1% fall-off.

“These numbers may grow as student loan repayments resume and borrowers of all ages lean further into strategies to tighten household budgets, including adding more value-friendly store-brand items to their grocery lists,” said Mary Ellen Lynch, principal at Circana.

Peggy Davis, president of PLMA, agreed that economic headwinds weigh on consumers, and noted that many marketers are holding on to inflation- and supply chain-related price hikes.

Davis also said store brands have benefitted from several years of unprecedented consumer trial, which research says is the industry’s best friend.

“Having opted for a store brand over the national brand for the first time, there’s a strong likelihood the shopper will stick with the store brand,” she said. “In addition, we are also seeing retailers doubling down on product innovation in food and non-food to take advantage of the flow of new store brand customers.”

Circana provides PLMA members and retailers with exclusive market insights and monthly sales data of hundreds of product categories and sub-categories on the company’s Unify+ platform, a unique data visualization tool.

Among the major categories that Circana tracks for PLMA, store-brand beverages experienced the biggest gain in dollar sales, up 19% over the past 52 weeks. That’s followed by private-label general and refrigerated food, both up 16%; frozen food, up 8%; general merchandise, also up 8%; home care, up 7%; beauty, up 5%; and health, up 3% over the 52 weeks.

Unit sales followed much the same pattern across major product categories, led by beverages, up 6%. Store-brand health items notched 2% growth in unit sales over the 52 weeks, while unit sales of private-label beauty merchandise declined 2%.