Never before have there been so many private label products on the shelves. Albert Heijn and Jumbo now offer around 10,000 private label products. Now it is responsible for almost thirty percent of the turnover in supermarkets.
This was established by market researcher Cirana. This relates to supermarket chains offering private label and A-brands. Thus, Lidl and Aldi, which mainly sell their own brands, are not included in the figures.
Sirkana explains that due to high inflation, many people are turning to cheaper household brands. Spreads can be huge. Some random examples: Dirk’s own brand “regular” pancake mix costs 74 cents, for a similar Koopmans package the consumer pays €1.19. The customer has to pay €1.49 for Plus brand frankfurters, while Unox costs €2.29. Have to pay 99 cents for AH household brand coffee creamer, Friesche Vlag coffee creamer €1.59. Then a jar of green peas: Jumbo House is available at 99 cents, and the Hak alternative costs €2.23.
But the spreads are not the only reason for their popularity private Labels, says private label consultant Koen de Jong. Supermarkets are also actively promoting their own brands. “There is a play on emotion and psyche. Most home brands are placed at eye level, eye level, and height.”
Or sometimes—as with AH—the cool blue shelf signs are lined with private label products. “So there is a tendency from all sides towards the supermarket. This is the private brand, because that guarantees more profits.”
FrieslandCampina: “Very unfortunate”
A-brand manufacturers are not generous with information when asked to respond. Obviously, the battle between A and home brands is very sensitive. Groentenbedrijf Hak, for example, does not want to explain why peas cost €2.23 and a private label costs 99 cents. “We don’t want to get into that discussion.” The multinational Unilever – known for brands such as Calvet, Knorr, Unix and Ola – says: “The growth and decline of private label supermarkets is an all-time thing that moves with the economy. We ensure, among other things, through innovations, That we are always as attractive as possible for consumers.”
Coöperatie FrieslandCampina stresses that the income benefits its farmers. “We invest in our A brands. The consumer knows that if you buy a dairy product from FrieslandCampina, it is really made with high quality milk from our cattle farmers and not from a country where the requirements are lower, for example.”
The nutrition center says whether there are differences between brands will vary by product. “You can often also opt for a private label product,” says company spokesperson Lolkje de Vries. “Whether a product is healthy doesn’t depend on whether it’s Brand A or not. Private label is often a lot cheaper, so it saves money.”
De Vries says the standards that products must meet are no different than private label or first-run brands. The tests conducted by the Consumers Association did not produce a clear picture either. “Sometimes the A brand does better and sometimes the home brand does.”
Brands must innovate
Circana’s Siani van Beekveld says A-brands have already done better than home brands in corona times. “I would expect it’s partly down to availability, perhaps premium brands being a bit more flexible in expanding volumes and continuing to do promotions, and partly trusting ‘fixed’ brands in times of uncertainty.”
But it won’t get any easier for premium brands in the coming years, Van Beckveld believes. Once a consumer gets used to a private label, switching back to a more expensive brand is a big step. “Therefore, brands have to innovate and communicate in order to win back their share of the pie.”