Squeezed shoppers sticking to brands over private label

November 4, 2022

Squeezed shoppers sticking to brands over private label

The latest NielsenIQ Scantrack data reveals a complex but interesting picture with regard to BWS sales in multiples, at odds with the broader shift among shoppers from brands to private label.

In a bid by consumers to manage rising costs, major UK retailers have seen a marked rise in sales of own/private label, with data for the four weeks to 8 October showing a value rise of +6%, compared to brands at +2.4%, with the former accounting for over 53% of total till spend.

However, in terms of BWS specifically, contrasting Nielsen Homescan FMCG data for the last 12 weeks actually shows a minor fall in private label share from 23% of sales last year to 21% this year, with recognised and trusted drinks brands still attracting consumer spend.

This is set against a volume sales decline of -4.4% for BWS over the same 12-week period, with alcoholic drinks experiencing one of the biggest volume purchasing declines among grocery categories across the multiple retail landscape.

Mike Watkins, NielsenIQ’s UK head of retailer and business insight, explained: “Liquor is one of the most heavily branded categories with some strong brand equity, so it is a sector a little more protected from ‘trading down’.

“Purchase behaviour is also a little different from the rest of FMCG categories, as it’s a category less frequently purchased than others, both in terms of frequency and percentage of households.”

In addition, within the wine sector, there has been more aggressive promotional pricing from established brands, especially with the recovery of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to prime promotional position, following a year of muted promotions due to availability issues.

The Ned, Brancott Estate, Mudhouse are just a few returning to price cutting, playing a role in the all-important footfall drive. South Africa’s Kleine Zalze is also at ongoing low price at Morrisons, at just £7.25, reducing the pricing differential with private label.

Squeezed shoppers sticking to brands over private label

NielsenIQ Homescan survey of shoppers in August revealed that the majority of consumers are focusing on three main coping strategies to deal with escalating inflation: monitoring the cost of their overall shopping basket (26%); opting for private label products (27%); and switching to the discounters (23%). Some, however, are simply opting to cease purchasing certain products (23%).

By Angela Mount