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Private Brands Log Solid Q1 Growth

PLMA cites IRI data showing sales outpaced those of national brands
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Fifteen of 18 departments across the store experienced private-brand dollar growth in the first quarter of 2022, according to PLMA.

According to the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA), private brands saw impressive sales gains in the first quarter of 2022. The trade organization cited data from Chicago-based market research firm IRI showing that store brands gained 6.5% in dollar sales, while national brands increased only 5.2% during the same period. 

Among departments, 15 of 18 experienced store-brand dollar growth, with only deli cheese, home care and tobacco decreasing. Deli prepared and bakery saw the largest increases, of 14.9% and 12.4%, respectively. 

The quarterly numbers were caused in part by private brands’ latest monthly performance, PLMA noted, pointing out that in March, store-brand dollar sales were ahead 8.3% versus the year-ago period – almost double the national-brand rise of 4.5%. 

“This is the third consecutive monthly report that indicates dollar gains for private brands,” said Peggy Davies, president of New York-based PLMA, which represents 3,500 member companies in more than 75 countries. “What’s more, it follows the positive performances of the last five months of 2021.” 

In January, private-brand dollar sales increased 4.9%, while national brands grew 4.8%; in February, private-brand sales were up 6.5%, with national brands adding 6.3%. 

For first quarter, dollar share for store brands in all major channels came in at 18.2%, an increase from last year’s 17.7%. Unit share was 20.2%, compared with 19.6% in 2021. 

While unit sales continued to fall for both national and store brands in March and for the quarter, store brands still performed better than national brands. 

In March, national brands logged a 4.1% unit decrease, while private brands were off 1.4%. For first quarter, national brands experienced a 3.4% decline, and private brands dropped 3%. 

PLMA members can access monthly sales results online through the IRI Unify section. Information is available on 317 categories and 967 subcategories, as well as from 18 departments. 

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