Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Private Label Food and Drink market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The US private label food and drink industry saw a surge in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside overall elevated sales in the food and drink retail market. In 2020 the market grew by 14% to reach $98 billion. However, while the change in lifestyle and day-to-day shopping may have changed during the pandemic, sales figures may subside as the pandemic ends and people return to normal shopping habits.

18-34 year olds are currently less likely to be loyal to brands than older consumers, and are much more willing to switch brands if they have a limited budget. Despite this, they are also often on the lookout for brands that cater to specific dietary requirements, such as vegan or organic diets. Environmental sustainability is also a major draw, with the pandemic drawing more attention to global warming and pollution.

This report covers the current state of the private food and drink market, as well as its future potential coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. With lifestyle changes shifting into the longer term, brands and companies will need to work on further brand innovation to benefit from changing trends and the need to retain the boost to growth seen over the past year.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Food and Foodservice market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the private label food and drink market.
  • How private label’s performance during the Great Recession of 2008-09 may not provide a model for the current financial situation.
  • Shopper preference for private label or national brand across a range of categories.
  • Interest in a range of strategic private label concepts.

Covered in this report

Food Products: Shelf-stable, refrigerated, frozen, bakery, deli, packaged raw meat, cheese, salty snacks, condiments, ice cream, packaged lunchmeat, frozen prepared meals, canned soup, cereal.

Drink Products: Milk, non-dairy drinks, yogurt drinks, tea, coffee, juice, juice drinks, sports drinks, nutritional drinks, performance drinks, alcoholic beverages, cocktail mixes, carbonated beverages (soda), energy drinks, bottled water, drink mixes, drink enhancers.

Brands: Kirkland, 365 Whole Foods, Wild Harvest, Fusia Asian Inspirations, Wegmans Food, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Emporium, Good & Gather, Mama Cozzi, Trader Joe’s, H-E-B, Publix, Millville, Open Nature, Albertsons.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by John Owen, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Private label food and drink products were making slow but steady gains before the pandemic and have the potential to do so long after. Grocery retailers continue to invest in their product portfolios and see them not just as a way to cater to price-conscious shoppers but also as an opportunity to leverage and strengthen their own brand equity. For their part, shoppers are more open than ever to store private label food and drink products but are also more demanding.

John Owen
Associate Director

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • COVID-19: US context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
    • Impact of COVID-19 on private label food and drink
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on private label food and drink, April 2021
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Young adults open to store brands in most categories
      • Figure 2: Brand preference by category – Prefer store brand or no preference, by age, November 2020
    • Shoppers acknowledge store brand quality, equate retailer brand equity
      • Figure 3: Attitudes toward private label food and drink – Quality perceptions, November 2020
    • Younger shoppers want samples, more information
      • Figure 4: Attitudes toward private label food and drink, by age, November 2020
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Private label’s pandemic surge matches total market
    • Food sets the pace
    • Refrigerated and frozen drive growth for private label food
  4. Market Size and Forecast

    • Private label’s pandemic surge matches total retail food and drink market
    • Steady share number masks market disruption
    • On track for growth by 2022
      • Figure 5: Total US multi-outlet retail sales and fan chart forecast of private-label food and drink, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 6: Total US multi-outlet retail sales and forecast of private-label food and drink, at current prices, 2015-25
    • Impact of COVID-19 on private label food and drink
      • Figure 7: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on private label food and drink, April 2021
    • Lockdown
    • Re-emergence
    • Recovery
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Learnings from the last recession
      • Figure 8: FDMx private label share of food and drink, 2006-11
  5. Segment Performance

    • Food sets the pace
      • Figure 9: Total US multi-outlet retail sales and forecast of private-label food and drink, by segment, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 10: Total US multi-outlet private-label share of food and of drink, by segment, 2015-20
    • Refrigerated and frozen drive growth for private label food
      • Figure 11: Total US multi-outlet private-label share of food, by department, 2015-20
    • Refrigerated (primarily milk) drives declines for private label drink
      • Figure 12: Total US multi-outlet private-label share of food, by department, 2015-20
    • Pandemic at least temporarily reverses trend away from supermarkets
      • Figure 13: Total US multi-outlet retail sales of private-label food and drink, by channel, 2015-20
      • Figure 14: Total US multi-outlet private-label share of food and of drink, by retail channel, 2015-20
  6. Category-level Performance

    • Cooking and convenience offer category-level opportunities for store brands
    • Culinary facilitators
    • Elevated convenience
    • Big, mature packaged food categories
  7. Market Factors

    • Spend on food at home remains higher than the enthusiasm of home cooks
      • Figure 15: Sales of food at home and away from home, November 2019-November 2020
    • Desire to limit time in-store alters food and drink shopping habits
      • Figure 16: Shopping-related coronavirus lifestyle changes, April 2020-February 2021
    • Comfort with in-store shopping, dining out rises and falls with cases
      • Figure 17: Comfort level with restaurant/bar patronage – Very or somewhat comfortable, July 2020-February 2021
    • Some key product factors grow even more important
    • A taste of the familiar
      • Figure 18: Changes in food priorities, August 2020
    • Cooking from scratch, meal planning get boost during the pandemic
      • Figure 19: Pandemic-driven changes in behavior, October 2020
    • Despite improving economy, many continue to feel pressure
      • Figure 20: Unemployment and underemployment, December 2019-January 2021
      • Figure 21: Financial situation, May 2020-February 2021
    • Expectations for food inflation remain subdued
      • Figure 22: Consumer price index and forecast range for food at home, 2018-21
    • Overall decline in household spending creates opportunity for affordable indulgences
      • Figure 23: GDP change from previous period and consumption expenditures, Q1 2007-Q4 2020
  8. Market Opportunities

    • Leverage store brands to keep home cooks motivated
    • Building trust and driving growth through differentiation
  9. Competitive Strategies

    • Leveraging food technology
      • Figure 24: Albertsons Savory Skillets in-store display
    • Strengthening ties to the community
      • Figure 25: Target Good & Gather food products
    • Bringing a brand promise to life in the aisle
      • Figure 26: Target Good & Gather food products
    • Clean label claims on the rise in private label food and drink launches
      • Figure 27: Top packaging claims on private label food and drink launches, 2016-20
  10. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Store brand preference highest in bottled water and perimeter categories
    • Young adults open to store brands in most categories
    • Opportunity to help young shoppers discover distinctive store brand products
    • National-brand equivalents remain key, but opportunities for differentiation exist
    • Private label drives retailer brand equity
  11. Brand Preference by Category

    • Store brand preference highest in bottled water and perimeter categories
      • Figure 28: Brand preference by category, November 2020
    • Young adults open to store brands in most categories
      • Figure 29: Brand preference by category – Prefer store brand or no preference, by age, November 2020
    • Openness to store brands highest among discount grocer shoppers
      • Figure 30: Brand preference by category – Prefer store brand or no preference, by most-often food and drink retailer, November 2020
  12. Private Label Shopping Behaviors

    • Price comparisons remain a predominant store-brand behavior
      • Figure 31: Private label shopping behaviors, November 2020
    • Opportunity to help young shoppers discover distinctive store brand products
      • Figure 32: Private label shopping behaviors, by age, November 2020
  13. Pandemic Impact on Brand Behavior

    • Purchases increased during pandemic, but not enough to increase share
      • Figure 33: Pandemic impact on brand behavior, November 2020
    • Younger shoppers experienced more brand choice disruption
      • Figure 34: Pandemic impact on brand behavior, by age, November 2020
  14. Interest in Private Label Concepts

    • National-brand equivalents remain key, but opportunities for differentiation exist
      • Figure 35: Interest in private label concepts, November 2020
    • Young shoppers especially interested in more differentiated concepts
      • Figure 36: Interest in private label concepts, by age, November 2020
    • Target, discount grocery and online shoppers express interest in local, sustainability
      • Figure 37: Interest in private label concepts, by most-often food and drink retailer, November 2020
  15. Attitudes toward Private Label Food and Drink

    • Shoppers acknowledge quality, value of store brands
    • Private label drives retailer brand equity
    • Tasting is believing
      • Figure 38: Attitudes toward private label food and drink, November 2020
    • Younger shoppers want samples, more information
      • Figure 39: Attitudes toward private label food and drink, by age, November 2020
  16. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  17. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 40: Total US multi-outlet retail sales and forecast of private label food and drink, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 41: Total US multi-outlet retail sales and forecast of private label food, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 42: Total US multi-outlet retail sales and forecast of private label food, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 43: Total US multi-outlet retail sales and forecast of private label drink, at current prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 44: Total US multi-outlet retail sales and forecast of private label drink, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
      • Figure 45: US multi-outlet total and private label food and drink sales, and private label share, at current prices, 2015-20
      • Figure 46: US multi-outlet total and private label food sales, and private label share of total, at current prices, 2015-20
      • Figure 47: US multi-outlet total and private label drink sales, and private label share of total, at current prices, 2015-20
      • Figure 48: Total US retail sales of private-label food and drink, by channel, at current prices, 2015-20
      • Figure 49: US supermarket sales of private-label food and drink, at current prices, 2015-20
      • Figure 50: US sales of private-label food and drink through other retail channels, at current prices, 2015-20
      • Figure 51: Total US multi-outlet retail sales of private label food and drink, by sub-segment, at current prices, 2015-20
      • Figure 52: Total US multi-outlet retail sales of total food and drink, by sub-segment, at current prices, 2015-20

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