Private Label predictions and trends for 2012 in the U.S.

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 13th January 2012

A panel of experts and industry commentators on the United States’ private label sector, brought together by the U.S. Private Label Manufacturer’s Association, has cast its predictions for the sector in 2012.

Many of the experts believe that 2012 will see American food retailers attempting to condense their stores, with urban centres becoming the prime location for locating new stores.

Food Retail Industry Consultant Michael Sansolo, who is also senior vice president of the U.S. Food Marketing Institute said, “Larger companies, such as Walmart, are seeking to have smaller stores.

“Everyone is looking for a way to introduce happiness and excitement into their stores (Wholefoods is adding bars into some of their stores and Kroger adding specialty cheese shops) and consumers looking for value.”

David Merrefield, former editor-in-chief of Supermarket News said that the model of mass merchandising relies on enticing people to drive longer distances to get the cheapest prices. However, due to the increase in petrol prices in the U.S. over the year, cheaper prices are in fact being cancelled by the higher cost of petrol.

“Dollar stores have seeded and are very well located – customers can park very close to the entrance and many are increasing the amount of food they sell,” Mr Merrefield said.

“Mass stores will move to smaller formats and, due to consumers being reluctant to travel long distances, these stores will move to urban areas. Dollar stores will continue to surge into food.”

Technology expert Dr Kantha Shelke said technology is changing retail horizons. He said, “Retail centres have been the crucible for buying products, being able to touch, taste and see. However, technology has changed that – and how consumers look at a product and decide which product to buy, where to buy it, and how to buy it.”