Private label food and drink launches outnumber branded for the first time in the UK, research finds

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 29th May 2012

New research, published this week by market research company Mintel, has found that for the first time, in 2011, the proportion of private label food and beverage product launches overtook branded food and beverage product launches in the UK.

According to Mintel’s research, while brands accounted for 55 per cent of new food and beverage products in the UK in 2010, the balance tipped in 2011 in favour of private labels as they accounted for 54 per cent of new food and beverage products, compared to 46 per cent for brands.

Historically, the proportion of new product development within food and non-alcoholic drinks has been higher for brands than for private labels.

Mintel’s research found that the UK market for private label food and drink reached £37 billion (AU$58.9 billion) in 2011, a 24 per cent increase since 2006. Furthermore, Mintel predicts that the private label market is expected to show similar growth trends in the coming years and is projected to reach £46 billion (AU$73.2 billion) by 2016.

Commenting on the research, Mintel’s Senior Food Analyst, Chris Wisson said, “Times have changed and there is no longer a perception about own label equating to lower quality. Our research shows that many affluent consumers do not necessarily dismiss own label products out of hand, but they appear to in fact be keen users in certain categories.

“The increasing credibility of private label products which, crucially, often undercut brands on price is a warning for brands who are under increasing pressure from consumers who are becoming more open to the idea of buying own label groceries,” Mr Wisson said.