Last year's record pace of store brands growth is continuing. During the first three months of this year, store brands picked up double-digit sales increases and higher market share in both dollars and units, according to nationwide data provided exclusively to PLMA by Circana (formerly IRI and NPD). The figures include 2023 food and non-food sales in all outlets as of March 26.
Store brand dollar volume jumped 10.3%, nearly twice the gain of national brands (which grew 5.6%), compared to the same three-month period a year ago. In addition, store brand market shares also increased. The dollar share rose to 19.1% and unit share advanced to 20.8%, vs Q1 of last year when the numbers were 18.5% for dollars and 20.3% for units.
“The Q1 results are particularly impressive since they are compared to 2022 sales figures, which were historically high for U.S. store brands,” said PLMA President Peggy Davies.
Store brand sales in individual departments were another highlight of the 1st quarter statistics. Among the 17 food and non-food departments Circana tracks for PLMA, 15 saw increased store brand dollar sales during the first quarter. Double-digit gainers were Beverages (up 17.1%), Bakery (+16.8%), General Food (+16%), Refrigerated (+15.5%), Floral (+13.1%), Deli Prepared (+12.4%) and Health Care (+10%).
Among the other departments Deli Cheese increased by 9% in dollar sales, General Merchandise (+8.8%), Beauty (+7.4%), Frozen (+7.1%), Produce (+6.8%), Deli Meat and Liquor (both at +5.8%) and Health (+4.3%). Only Tobacco (off 11.8%) and Meat (down 1.6%) slipped.
Store brands also reported better sales than national brands in unit sales. All brands continue the trend of shedding units. However, like in 2022, store brand units decreased far less than national brands. During Q1 of 2023, store brand unit sales dropped 1% vs a decline of 3.9% for national brands, about one-fourth the decline.
This disparity in unit sales can be attributed to consumers switching to store brands from national brands. It was even more pronounced in March, when store brands were down only 0.7% compared to national brands, which were off five times that figure at 3.5%.
In unit sales, six departments improved in store brand unit sales. This was led by Floral (up 5%), Deli Prepared (+2.1%), Bakery (+1.8%), General Merchandise (+1.3%), Produce (+0.8%) and Liquor (+0.7%).
The next monthly report to PLMA from Circana is due May 1. PLMA members and accredited retailers who want to dig deeper into the latest store brands and national brands sales data can visit the portal called "Exclusive Market Data From PLMA" in the Member Services Tab.