Fewer Private Label CPG Units Create More Dollars

September 30, 2010

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Brand Metrics | CPG & FMCG | Data-driven | Food & Restaurants | Retail & E-Commerce

Private label CPG dollar sales rose 2.2%, while unit sales fell 1%, during the four-week sales period ended September 4, 2010, according to research firm The Nielsen Company. In contrast, CPG dollar sales rose 0.4% during the four-week period ending August 8, 2009, while unit sales climbed 3.6%.

Dollar Sales Total $6.7B
Dollar sales of private label prepackaged, UPC-coded CPG goods were $6.71 billion during the most recently tracked four-week period, compared to $6.56 billion during the equivalent period a year earlier. Fresh produce experienced the strongest sales growth rate of any department, rising 26.8% from $183.2 million to $232.3 million. Fresh meat followed closely with 26.1% growth, rising from $41.1 million to $52 million.


Two departments experienced a decline in dollar sales compared to the equivalent four-week period in 2009. Non-food grocery sales fell 3.5%, from $676.6 million to $652.8 million, while dry grocery sales dropped 1.9%, from $2.34 billion to $2.3 billion.

Dollar Segment Share Rises Again
Growth for private label CPG goods in terms of dollar segment share rose fractionally for the 10th straight four-week period. Dollar sales of private label CPG goods increased 0.5 percentage points, from 16.9% of the segment to 17.4%. Branded CPG goods accounted for the remaining 82.6% of the segment.

Every department except dry grocery, which slightly declined, and alcoholic beverages, deli, and non-food grocery, which all remained flat, experienced positive dollar segment share growth compared to the equivalent period in 2009. Three departments experienced a positive dollar segment share increase of 1% or more: fresh meat (4.6%), fresh produce (3.2%), and combo pack (1.7%).

Segment share growth in the dry grocery department declined 0.2% from the same period a year earlier.

Unit Sales Fall to 3.06B
Total unit sales for the four weeks ended September 4, 2010 were 3.06 billion, down 1% from 3.09 billion during the equivalent four-week period in 2009. Fresh produce sales climbed 20.5%, from 73.9 million units to 89.1 million units; while fresh meat sales rose 19.8%, from 9.3 million units to 11.1 million units. Combo pack sales rose 12.6%, from 1.8 million units to 2.03 million units.

On the negative growth side, packaged meat sales fell 5.1%, from 57.2 million units to 54.3 million units, while daily sales fell 4.4%, from 703 million units to 672.1 million units. Dry grocery sales declined 1%, from 1.44 billion units to 1.43 billion units.

Unit Segment Share Stays Flat
Unit segment share remained flat compared to the equivalent period a year earlier, with private label CPG goods accounting for 21.6% of the segment. Branded CPG goods accounted for the remaining 78.4% of the segment.

Three departments reported negative unit segment growth and three departments reported flat unit segment growth. On the positive side, fresh meat had the highest growth rate (3.7%), followed by combo pack (3%), and fresh produce (2.6%).

Meanwhile, only one department had a negative unit segment growth rate of more than 1%, dairy (1.2%). Frozen foods, deli and alcoholic beverage all reported flat unit segment performance.

Recession Changes Shopping, Brand Perception
The ongoing economic recession has changed how consumers shop for and perceive food and CPG brands, according to a recent study from Deloitte. Statistics from the “2010 Great American Pantry Study” indicate that even when the current recession finally ends, US consumers plan to maintain the more cautious and bargain-oriented shopping habits they have developed during the past few years.

For example, 93% of consumers expect to continue spending cautiously even when the economy improves, and 92% have made some kind of change in their food and CPG-related shopping habits. Another 89% feel they have become more resourceful because of the economy, while 84% have become a lot more precise in what they buy.


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