The Private Label Manufacturers Association has announced that private brands experienced impressive sales gains in the first quarter of 2022. 

According to IRI, store brands gained 6.5% in dollar sales, while national brands increased 5.2% during the period. 

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

The quarterly numbers were powered in part by the latest monthly performance. In March 2022, store brand dollar sales were ahead 8.3%, compared to the same quarter a year ago. That’s nearly double the national brand improvement of 4.5%. 

“This is the third consecutive monthly report that indicates dollar gains for private brands,” said PLMA President Peggy Davies. “What’s more, it follows the positive performances of the last five months of 2021.” 

In January, private brand dollar sales grew 4.9%, ahead of national brands at 4.8%; in February, sales were up 6.5%, brands added 6.3%. 

For Q1, dollar share for store brands in all major channels came in at 18.2%, an increase over 17.7% last year. Unit share was 20.2%, compared to 19.6% in 2021. 

While unit sales continued to decline for both national and store brands in March and for the quarter, store brands fared better than national brands. 

In March 2022, national brands recorded a 4.1% unit decrease while private brands were off 1.4%. For Q1, national brands had a 3.4% decline; private brands dipped 3%. 

Monthly sales results are available for members at through the IRI Unify section. Information is available on 317 categories and 967 subcategories as well as from 18 departments.