How category PL shares have fared in the past ten years
In one third of all categories, brands have recaptured share
In the long run private label (PL) has shown fairly consistent growth, which is even stronger when times are tough and shoppers are inclined to save. This trend, however, is not universal – many categories have experienced a decline in PL shares over the past ten years. This analysis focuses on ten European markets (Austria, Belgium, Germany, France, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK) and includes 795 categories with an average PL Value share in 2011 of 32%.
Ten years later we find that:
- the average category’s PL share has increased by 1.7%
- 43% of categories have experienced a PL share gain of more than 2%, but 1 in 3 has experienced a decline in PL share of more than 2%
- PL share decline has been most frequent in beverage, petfood and household care categories (40-50% of categories respectively) – in contrast, food PL growth has exceeded 2% in more than half of categories
- strong PL share growth was equally likely for categories with high or low PL shares in 2011
- strong PL share decline was more likely for categories that had a PL share of more than 20% in 2011 (where almost 40% of categories experienced a decline) than for categories where PL was below 20%
In summary, PL growth is nuanced and not universal. Even in categories where PL has been strong for a long time winning back share is more common than one might expect. Make sure you understand your categories’ long-term PL trends and learn from those categories that manage to break the tide.
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