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Supermarket Store Brands Climb to $62.5B: PLMA

Store brand sales reached $118.4 billion in 2015, an all-time record and an increase of $2.2 billion over the previous year. In the past two years alone, annual sales are up 5 percent, or $5.4 billion, in the major retail channels, according to Private Label Manufacturers Association's 2016 Private Label Yearbook.

Store brands dollar share came to 17.7 percent, also the highest mark ever. Across all outlets, combined store brands sales grew 2 percent, a performance that equaled that of national brands, which also rose 2 percent.

In unit sales, both store brands and national brands were off fractionally, less than half a percentage point each. Unit sales of store brands were almost $44 billion, nominally on par with last year. As a result, store brand unit share held at 21.1 percent.

The PLMA Private Label Yearbook compiles sales data provided by Nielsen for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2015. The industry annual is published online at and has become the benchmarking standard for retailers and suppliers. Nielsen sales and market share statistics are reported for more than 700 food and nonfood product categories.

Supermarket Store Brands Climb to $62.5B

Looking at supermarkets, total sales of store brands were $62.5 billion, roughly even with the prior year. Over a two-year period, sales are up in the supermarket channel by 2 percent, or $1.1 billion. With unit share at 22.9 percent, nearly one of every four items sold in the country’s supermarkets last year was a store brand. As for drug chains, store brand dollar sales rose nearly a percentage point to $8.4 billion last year, while national brands fell about a point.

Figures for all outlets come from total U.S. supermarkets with annual sales over $2 million, drug chains with annual sales over $1 million, mass merchandisers, club and dollar store channels and military exchanges.

Looking beyond these traditional outlets and the data available from Nielsen, a more comprehensive figure for annual store brand sales in food and non-food consumables would include an estimated $20 billion or more in revenues from chains that range from no-frills discounters like Aldi and Save-a-Lot, to specialty chains such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, as well as convenience stores. If counted, these outlets would produce a grand total approaching $140 billion in sales.

Even that total does not take into consideration store brand products sold by chains specializing in office supplies; hardware, tools and do-it-yourself; home improvement, home decor and domestic goods; consumer electronics, baby care, pet care, toys, personal care and sporting goods. These are just a few of the non-grocery retail channels that are marketing a growing variety of store brand items.

Store brands continue to represent outstanding value for consumers. Shoppers could save an estimated $44 billion a year by buying store brand products over national brands, according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, while market basket research by PLMA consistently reveals that shoppers can save about one-third on a basic food and household items in a typical supermarket by opting for the store brand over national brands.

The New York, N.Y.-based PLMA represents 4,000 companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of store brand products, including food, beverages, snacks, health and beauty aids, over-the-counter drugs, household supplies and general merchandise.

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