Nov. Private Label Dollar Sales Slightly Climb

January 7, 2011

nielsen-us-food-drug-merchandise-4-week-dollar-sales-yoy-jan11.gifFollowing flat year-over-year performance in October 2010, private label CPG dollar sales rose almost 2% in November 2010, according to data from The Nielsen Company. Meanwhile, private label CPG unit sales declined 1%, compared to a 3% drop in October 2010. Private label CPG dollar sales rose fractionally year-over-year in October 2009, while unit sales rose about 3%.

Private Label CPG Dollar Sales Surpass $7.1B

During November 2010, private label prepackaged, UPC-coded CPG good dollar sales reached about $7.12 billion, compared to about $7 billion during the same four-week period a year earlier.

Fresh meat experienced the strongest sales growth rate of any department, rising 35.4% from $38.8 million to $52.5 million. Fresh produce followed with 17.5% growth, rising from $242.7 million to $285.2 million.

Five departments experienced a decline in dollar sales compared to the equivalent four-week period in 2009. Combo pack sales declined 9.4%, from $20.5 million to $18.5 million, and non-food grocery sales dropped 4.9%, from $678.4 million to $645.4 million. Meanwhile, deli sales dropped 2.1%, from $156.8 million to $153.6 million, and frozen foods sales declined 1.2%, from $640.8 million to $633 million. In addition, dry grocery sales dropped 0.7%, from $2.54 billion to $2.53 billion.

Dollar Segment Share Rises for Lucky 13th Period

Growth for private label CPG goods in terms of dollar segment share rose fractionally for the 13th straight four-week period. Dollar sales of private label CPG goods increased 0.3%, from 17.3% of the segment to 17.7%. Branded CPG goods accounted for the remaining 82.3% of the segment.

Three departments experienced a positive dollar segment share increase of 1% or more: fresh meat (an extremely strong 6.1%), fresh produce (2.7%), and general merchandise (1.1%).

Alcoholic beverage dollar segment share remained flat, and four departments experienced declines of less than 1%: deli, non-food grocery, dry grocery, and frozen foods.

Total unit sales for November 2010 were about 3.27 billion, compared to 3.3 billion during the equivalent four-week period in 2009. Fresh meat sales climbed 22%, from 9.4 million units to 11.5 million units; while fresh produce sales rose 14.9%, from 99.9 million units to 114.9 million units.

On the negative growth side, combo pack sales fell 9.5%, from 2.9 million units to 2.6 million units, non-food grocery sales fell 6.2%, from 251.9 million units to 236.2 million units, dairy sales declined 3.9%, from 776.7 million units to 746.2 million units, and frozen food sales dropped 3.8%, from 243.8 million units to 234.4 million units. In addition, unit sales for packaged meat and general merchandise slid 1% and 0.9%, respectively.

Unit Segment Share Stays Flat

nielsen-us-food-drug-merchandise-4-week-unit-sales-yoy-jan11.gifUnit segment share stayed an even 22.2% compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, with branded CPG goods accounting for the remaining 78.8% of the segment. Five departments reported negative unit segment growth, and alcoholic beverages maintained a flat unit segment share. On the positive side, fresh meat had the highest growth rate (5.3%), followed by fresh produce (2.4%), and general merchandise (1.6%).

The only department with a negative unit segment growth rate of 1% was dairy. Dry grocery, frozen foods, combo pack, and non-food grocery all reported negative unit segment performance of less than 1%.

Food Market Escapes Impact of Tough Times

The US food market has done well the past two years even as the recession has negatively affected sales of many other product categories, according to other recent data from The Nielsen Company. Looking at Nielsen’s figures on unit performance in major US food, drug and mass merchandiser (FDM) categories during the 52 weeks ending October 2, 2010, overall unit sales across FDM categories remained flat. However, food categories such as fresh produce (3.5%), deli (2.9%) and beverages/alcohol (1.7%) registered moderate to substantial growth.

In comparison, during the same 52-week period, health, beauty & accessories (HBA) unit sales dipped 1.9%. Non-food unit sales shrank an even more precipitous 3.8%, and general merchandise unit sales plummeted 6.1%.

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