Store brand sales picked up in 2022 right where they left off at the end of last year, growing 4.2% in dollar volume across all U.S. retailing channels in the month of January, compared to the same period in 2021. The increase was about equal to the 4.4% growth of national brands, according to IRI data provided to the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA).
Last year was a roller coaster ride for store brands. Sales were up, then down, but finished strong, with increases averaging about 5% over the last five months. The just-released “PLMA 2022 Private Label Report” tells the whole story in detail.
Store brand dollar sales grew 1% to a record $199 billion in all U.S. retail channels in 2021, according to the report, based on IRI data.
Private brand dollar share last year was 17.7%, while unit share came in at 19.6%. Both represent increases over a three-year period.
In the eight largest departments covered by IRI, private label grew in six. In the largest category—refrigerated foods—store brands increased by 0.7%, followed by general merchandise (+1.7%), health care products (+0.2%), frozen (+0.8%), produce (+11.4%), and beverages (+2.7%).
The figures reveal that the U.S. store brand market in 2021 was able to retain the unprecedented, COVID-fueled, double-digit sales gains from 2020. Retail brands jumped 12% in dollar sales in 2020 amid the shutdown of foodservice, a greater emphasis on cooking at home and the boom in online grocery shopping. That exceeded national brands’ gain, which were up 10%.
Moving into 2021, as the country and the foodservice sector began to reopen for in-person business, some expected that store brands would decline, giving back all or most of 2020’s huge increase. That did not happen.
“The main takeaway is that retailer brands are a vibrant industry and an important piece of the U.S. grocery business, especially in difficult economic times,” said PLMA President Peggy Davies.
The 2021 performance of store brands represents a return to the consistent, single-digit growth that existed in pre-pandemic years.
PLMA, in collaboration with IRI, provides market data of both store brands and national brands in 317 categories and 967 sub-categories. The data are refreshed monthly on the Unify data portal on plma.com.
More details can be found in PLMA’s 2022 Private Label Report, the association’s annual statistical guide for store brand sales. It’s available on plma.com.