NEW YORK, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Searching to find new products that
are innovative and exciting, more and more American consumers are turning
to a new but trusted source for these products . their favorite retailers.
For decades, consumers relied on the leading national brand
manufacturers to supply these products. In recent years, though, shoppers
are finding that these new items aren't meeting their needs. Last year
33,000 new products were introduced in the U.S. and about 80% of them were
soon dropped because of poor sales, according to Mintel, a market research
America's retailers are moving in to fill the void with a steady stream
of new grocery, health and beauty and home products. One of the latest
major introductions is the Simply enjoy(TM) line, which is debuting in New
England at Stop & Shop supermarkets and in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware,
Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. at Giant Food stores.
The products offer "everyday luxuries at affordable prices," the
retailers say. The line includes frozen entrees, appetizers and gourmet
desserts, as well as dry grocery and dairy. The products are made with
premium ingredients such as Italian durum wheat semolina, Dungeness crab
from the Pacific, olives from Spain, Belgian chocolate, and real fresh
"The Simply enjoy line of products is the latest example of store
brands that are clearly moving to a higher level of quality and consumer
acceptance," says Brian Sharoff, President of the Private Label
Manufacturers Association here. Private label products, or store brands,
are items that an individual retailer markets under its own name or brand.
They are sold only at that chain's stores.
Sharoff believes there are three main reasons why the success rate of
new products is much higher for store brands. "One, the retailer owns the
shelf and can keep products in stock longer; two, the retailer is closer to
shoppers and understands their needs; and three, retailers can very quickly
produce products in growth categories that tap into changing tastes and
The success of new store brand products has attracted the attention of
one of the world's biggest marketers-Disney. It has joined forces with the
nation's largest supermarket chain, Kroger, to introduce a line of store
brand products. Kroger and Disney have launched a line of 100
health-oriented items under the Disney's Magic Selections name that are
sold exclusively in Kroger stores.
But the sizzle of private label extends beyond traditional food these
days. Mass merchandiser Target has opened a new Bath & Body department
which includes 20 of its own brands. The largest wholesale club operator,
Costco, has launched 112 products in its Office Impressions line of office
The reasons underlying the success of these new private label products
are documented in a recent nationwide survey conducted for PLMA by Ipsos
MORI, a leading opinion polling organization.
The research found that the popularity of private label grocery
products is clearly growing among American shoppers. In fact, 41% of
shoppers now identify themselves as "frequent" buyers of store brands. The
results were higher than five years ago, when 36% of respondents described
themselves that way, and significantly higher than 15 years ago, when only
12% called themselves frequent buyers.
In addition, the survey found that almost half of consumers are more
aware of private label products than five years ago and are more willing to
buy them. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of respondents say they would buy
more private label in the year ahead if their stores stocked a wider
variety of products.
The Ispos MORI research also revealed:
-- Consumers in the middle-income (($30,000-$75,000) and high-income (over
$75,000) brackets are much more likely to buy a larger amount of
private label in the coming year than those in the low-income (under
-- Almost half of those interviewed said their regular shopping basket now
contains one-quarter or more store brand products. For all consumers
in the study, the average amount of private label they buy is 32%.
-- The popularity of grocery store brands is spreading a halo effect to
non-grocery private label products in trade channels apart from
supermarkets. About one-fifth of consumers said they frequently buy
private label products in the health and beauty, home office,
household, and home improvement categories.
"The research clearly points to the growing awareness and popularity of
store brands," says PLMA's Sharoff. "It also continues to show a
fundamental change in attitude toward private label products."
The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) represents more than
3,000 companies around the world and offers trade shows, programs and
services for its members and retailers. For more information about the
association, contact PLMA at (212) 972-3131 or visit the association online
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SOURCE The Private Label Manufacturers Association