Private brands are starting the year off strong, posting a 6.5% gain in dollar sales for first-quarter 2022, according to a release from the Private Label Manufacturers Association, citing data from Chicago-based IRI. In comparison, dollar sales of national brands grew 5.2%.
The quarterly numbers were boosted, in part, by March’s performance, PLMA noted. In March, dollar sales of private brands grew 8.3% vs. the same quarter a year ago, which was nearly double the national brand improvement of 4.5%. In January, private-brand dollar sales grew 4.9%, ahead of national brands at 4.8%; and in February, sales for private brands were up 6.5% vs. 6.3% for national brands.
“This is the third consecutive monthly report that indicates dollar gains for private brands,” said PLMA President Peggy Davies. “What’s more, it follows the positive performances of the last five months of 2021.”
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Among departments, 15 of 18 experienced private-brand dollar growth, with only deli cheese, home care and tobacco declining. Deli prepared and bakery enjoyed the largest increases, up 14.9% and 12.4%, respectively.
For the first quarter, dollar share for private brands in all major channels was 18.2%, an increase over 17.7% last year; unit share was 20.2% vs. 19.6% in 2021.
While unit sales continued to decline for both national and private brands in March and for the quarter, store brands fared better than national brands, PLMA noted. In March, unit sales of national brands fell 4.1%, while private brands were off 1.4%. For the first quarter, national brands had a 3.4% decline and private brands dipped 3%.