Blog: Dean BestPrivate label star waning?

Dean Best | 5 November 2009

We heard from two players on the US stage today (5 November) – one retailer and one manufacturer – both of whom bore the same message.

According to the management of meat-to-bakery group Sara Lee and supermarket operator Delhaize, the tide could be turning against private label in the US.

Delhaize admitted that increased promotional activity from national brands had slowed the growth of its private label sales in the country.

"When national brands fight for the growth of their top line with some very interesting promotions consumers are interested. We have seen a lesser increase in private label than in 2008 and early 2009," Delhaize CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers said

In addition, the Belgium-based group said that consumers had been trading down within its three-tier private label offering.

Meanwhile, again pointing to increased promotional activity from branded producers, Sara Lee also flagged up the slowed growth of private label.

However, Sara Lee admitted that it has failed to benefit from this trend because it has been slower to invest in lowering prices than a number of its branded competitors.

This is something the group will look to address in the coming months.

Nevertheless, as Barnes cautioned: "The hardest thing to avoid is doing crazy things in the market place... We will not do crazy things to drive that volume up."

Click here to read more Sara Lee's plans to boost volumes, or here to check out Delhaize's take on trends in private label sales.


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