US private label CPG dollar and unit sales both declined year-over-year during the four weeks ending February 19, 2011, according to data from The Nielsen Company. Dollar sales fell a modest 0.2% while unit sales dropped a larger 3.5%.
Private Label CPG Dollar Sales Fall to $6.9B
During February 2011, private label prepackaged, UPC-coded CPG good dollar sales equaled about $6.9 billion, down from almost $7 billion during the same four-week period in 2010. Fresh meat experienced the strongest sales growth rate of any department, rising 25.5% from $47 million to $59 million. Fresh produce followed with 16% growth, rising from $251.3 million to $291.4 million. Alcoholic beverage dollar sales grew 10.4%, from $15.1 million to $16.6 billion.
Five departments experienced a decline in dollar sales compared to the equivalent four-week period in 2010: dry grocery, frozen foods, combo pack, non-food grocery, and general merchandise. Leading were combo pack sales, which declined 8.5%, from $18.1 million to $16.6 million. In addition, dry grocery sales dropped 3.9%, from $2.5 billion to $2.4 billion; and general merchandise sales dropped 3.8%, from $221.1 million to $212.7 million.
Dollar Segment Share Rises 0.2%
Growth for private label CPG goods in terms of dollar segment share rose fractionally, with dollar sales of private label CPG goods increasing 0.2%, from 17.4% of the segment to 17.6%. Branded CPG goods accounted for the remaining 82.4% of the segment.
Three departments experienced a positive dollar segment share increase of 1% or more: fresh meat (5.3%), fresh produce (1.9%), deli (1.4%), and general merchandise (1%).
Frozen foods dollar segment share remained flat, and four departments experienced declines of less than 1%: dry grocery and dairy.
Unit Sales Drop to 3.05B
Total private label CPG unit sales for the four weeks ending February 19, 2011 were about 3.05 billion, compared to about 3.2 billion during the equivalent four-week period in 2010. Alcoholic beverage sales rose 22.3%, from 1.8 million to 2.2. million; fresh meat sales climbed 13.3%, from 10.8 million units to 12.2 million units; and fresh produce sales rose 10.9%, from 100.8 million units to 111.8 million unit.
On the negative growth side, six departments reported declining unit sales: dry grocery, frozen foods, dairy, combo pack, packaged meat, and non-food grocery. The largest decline occurred in combo pack sales, which fell 10.2%, from 2.6 million units to 2.3 million units. The next two largest declines were reported in non-food grocery sales, which fell 7.1%, from 239 million units to 222 million units, and dry grocery sales, which slid 4.7% from 1.5 billion units million to 1.4 billion units.
Unit Segment Share Drops 0.3%
Unit segment share dropped 0.3%, from 21.9% during the equivalent period a year earlier to 21.7%, with branded CPG goods accounting for the remaining 78.3% of the segment. Five departments reported negative unit segment growth of less than 1%: dry grocery, frozen foods, dairy, combo pack, and non-food grocery. On the positive side, fresh meat had the highest growth rate climbing 4.7%, followed by general merchandise, which grew 2.1%, and fresh produce, which rose 1.6%.
Private Label Here to Stay Globally
While more than half (61%) of online global consumers surveyed said they purchased more private label brands during the economic downturn, fully 91% said they will continue to do so when the economy improves, according to other recent data from The Nielsen Company. Consumers in Asia-Pacific and Latin America (62% each) were slightly more likely to say they purchased more private label brands, and consumers in North America and Europe (60%) were slightly less likely.
Consumers in the Middle East/Africa/Pakistan (MEAP) region met the 61% global average of having purchased more private label goods during the economic downturn. Interestingly, although North American consumers tied their European counterparts for being least likely to have increased their private label purchase habits, they had a higher rate of saying they will continue to do so after the recession ends (94%) than consumers in any other region.