Private label keeps setting records in 2023

Store brand sales jumped 8.2% during the first half of the year and private-label dollar share climbed to a record 18.8%, according to new Circana data.
Private-label brands
Private-label sales are surging during the first half of 2023. / Photo: Shutterstock

Even as food prices moderate a bit, private-label brands are continuing their inflation-fueled trajectory.

Dollar sales of store brands increased 8.2% during the first half of 2023, outpacing national brand sales gains of 5.1% during the period ended June 18, according to data released Monday by research firm Circana.

The figures are even more impressive on a two-year basis: Compared to the first six months of 2021, private-label sales are up 16%, or about $17 billion.

Total private-label sales during the period were $108 billion, compared to $100 billion in 2022, Circana reported.

Store-brand dollar share rose to a record 18.8% so far during 2023 and unit share grew a record-setting 20.5%.

“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 brands to their grocery list,” Circana Principal Mary Ellen Lunch said in a statement.

The beverage category saw the largest sales gains over the past 52 weeks, up 19%, according to Circana, followed by general food and refrigerated (both up 16%), frozen and general merchandise (up 8%), home care (up 7%), beauty (up 5%) and health (up 3%). Private-label liquor sales rose 20%, while tobacco fell 13%.

Unit sales of both private-label and national brands, however, were largely stagnant. For the first half of the year, store brand unit sales fell 0.5% and national brand unit sales decreased 3.4%. In June, store brand unit sales dropped 0.6% while national brand unit sales plunged 5.1%, Circana found.

Private label also had a record year in 2022, with $228.6 billion in annual sales across all U.S. retailing channels—an 11.3% jump over the prior year.

“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,” Peggy Davies, president of the industry group Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA), said in a statement. “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.”



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