Private Label Food Trends for 2012

Mintel, the respected research and data firm, recently published their “2012 Private Label Food” report, for those interested in uncovering next year’s private label trends in the food industry.

Private label products include all merchandise sold under a retail store’s private label. Labels can include the store name, a name created exclusively for the store’s branding, or a wholesale buying group that owns specific labels.

Private Brand

While private label purchasing continues to grow, purchase rates are growing more slowly than years past. According to Mintel, weak economic recovery, low consumer confidence and increased consumer perception could help boost private label sales in 2012. Food marketers will need to understand that achieving higher sales means continuing to concentrate on making a quality product and also making more sophisticated marketing plans.

Here are Mintel’s predicted top 2012 private label trends:

  • Private label share will be lowest in the edible department and highest in the commoditized dairy department. Frozen department private label sales will level off, as bakery private label sales will begin to show an increase.
  • Name brands are still perceived as having the highest quality, however private labels are catching up.
  • New varieties and flavors often present the advantage to brand names, although can also be the leading reason that consumers choose private label products.
  • The value-seeking African American and Hispanic consumers will continue to seek out private labels.

Mintel stresses that retailers need to focus on using private labels to build long-term relationships, rather than seeking out customers who will simply “try the product.” To be successful in 2012, private labels will need to look for problems to solve, not products to replicate, as they continue to shape their stores’ image through these store brands.

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