Sales of own label products have been driven up by recession in the UK, with own label reportedly accounting for almost half of all sales last month.

According to figures from Datamonitor, provided to The Times, 41% of all grocery sales at the end of July were own label, up from 38.2% in July last year.

Own-label products are 22% cheaper than brands on average, according to Datamonitor.

Neil Saunders, director of Verdict Research, part of Datamonitor, said: “What’s really changed in the past few years is the range of own-label products you can buy. It’s not just about the value products any more: supermarkets like Tesco have own label ranges right up to premium now.”

“There’s been a move towards downtrading and the value end of the spectrum but, in the long term, we think the premium products will do well.”