The UK private label food and drink market is estimated to have reached £50 billion in 2013, a 19% increase since 2008. This growth was broadly in line with the wider market, which grew by 20% over the same period.
While brands remain the most widely used type of food and drink product, standard own-label is only slightly less popular. Almost seven in 10 consumers use both branded and own-label food and drink, highlighting the extensive crossover in usage and the integral role that private labels play in consumers’ repertoires.
Consumer confidence is on the rise and real consumer expenditure is estimated to continue its upward trend in 2013. These trends could have been expected to fuel recession fatigue. However, almost half (48%) of adults say they have increased their purchasing of value own-label and three in 10 have increased the amount of standard own-label produce bought in the year to September 2013, indicating that the value-for-money image of these products (noted by more than six in 10 adults) still continues to drive further interest in them.
Ongoing NPD (New Product Development) activity by private labels has been noticed by the vast majority of consumers who cite an improvement in both the quality and packaging of own-labels, helping to alleviate any residing negative perceptions. This should stand the sector in good stead in the improving economic climate; while consumers are still adopting some recessionary habits, encouraging consumers to trade up across tiers will be key to driving value growth in the private label market once consumer spending regains momentum The revamp of eg Tesco’s Everyday Value range in 2012 and Morrisons’ ongoing range review will likely have contributed to this increase in purchasing, helping to drive private label sales in 2012 and 2013, with private label estimated to have gained ground in 2013.