Sales of private label products in Spain have risen 5.6% to reach 41% during July as consumers feel the pinch from the country’s deep recession.

According to Nielsen reports, over the period, branded food products saw their turnover drop 3%.

The biggest private label gains were found in cheeses, where sales soared 9%, taking, taking a 25% market share compared to 16% in the same period of last year.

Overall, own-labels saw their market share rise to 41% from 39.5% year-on-year as they continued to make gains in meat products, canned foods and the frozen segment

The phenomenon comes as Spaniards continue to tighten their belts as unemployment reaches 20% and the economy remains mired in recession.

Hypermarket giants Eroski, Carrefour‘s Dia and Alcampo have launched a slew of new recession-busting private-label categories to court these shoppers. Even El Corte Ingles, which is known for its premium positioning, has launched a discount food label.