Private Label Unit, Dollar Share Rise in ’09

March 31, 2010

Prepacked, UPC-coded private label CPG brands represented 21.8% of unit volume in 2009 while only comprising 10% of items in stores, according to The Nielsen Company.

Both unit and dollar share of private label CPG brands rose substantially in the 52 weeks ended December 26, 2009 compared to the 52 weeks ended December 27, 2008. Unit share increased 31.3%, from 16.6% to 20.8%, and dollar share increased 28.2%, from 17% to 21.8%.


In contrast, economy national brands made up 21.3% of dollar sales during 2009, while taking up 29.7% of items in stores. Consumers who might have thought twice about including private label store brands on their shopping list years ago now regularly purchase store brands, seeing them as a good value for certain grocery and household goods.

Unit Share Beats Dollar Share for Almost 2 Years
Unit share performance of private label CPG brands has been stronger than dollar share performance on a monthly basis since spiking from 19.75% to 20.75% in May 2008, according to Nielsen findings. Following a second spike from about 21.5% to 22% in late January-early February 2009, at the low point of the ongoing recession, unit share dipped below 21.5% in mid-May 2009 but rebounded in mid-June 2009 and is still posting gains on a monthly basis.

February 2010 Private Label CPG Performance Review
Private label CPG dollar and unit sales trends observed in 2009 continue in 2010, according to other Nielsen analysis. Dollar sales of private label CPG goods rose 0.4%, from 17% of the segment in February 2009 to 17.4%, during the four-week period ended February 20, 2010. Branded CPG goods accounted for the remaining 82.6% of the segment.

CPG unit share grew even less percentage-wise than CPG dollar share in February 2010, increasing 0.1% from 21.7% to 21.9% of the segment. Branded CPG goods accounted for the remaining 78.1% of the segment. CPG unit segment share growth matched CPG dollar segment share growth at 0.5% last month, and had been stronger from May-December 2009.

Dollar sales of prepackaged, UPC-coded CPG goods were $6.92 billion during the most recently tracked four-week period. Total unit sales for February 2010 were 11.23 billion

Consumers Don’t Strongly Identify with Brands
In another encouraging sign for private label CPG goods, although consumer demand for quality brands and products remains strong, consumers generally do not strongly identify with brands, according to interviews conducted by consumer insights firm Among other findings from field interviews with global consumers are that consumers do not think brands love them, many consumers think loving a brand is strange, most consumers cannot name the brand of their cell phone, and consumers generally hate brands which engage in practices such as using child or cheap foreign labor.

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