Changing Equity Of Private Labels: Western Europe

Thomas Bachl
GfK Panel Services

Role Of Private Labels In Western Europe And Changes In The Past Five Years

Private labels do not play one single role in Europe but rather represent major differences with regard to importance of market share. The reason is the different degree of organisation and concentration of the trade. The market share for FMCG especially is growing in all countries. The exception is Great Britain, where saturation of the market has been reached with a market share of almost 40% for FMCG.

Private labels are generally positioned at the lowest price levels in the respective categories. There are efforts to reach medium and premium price levels, but they usually achieve only low market shares. The offer of cheap private labels is intended to generate shopping frequency whereas other private label offers are designed to support the building of loyalty. In the last five years, growth potential was generated by the expansion of private labels into other categories and by occupying medium and premium price levels. Furthermore, the growing trade concentration in all countries has considerably improved the basis for distribution. Moreover, the entry of Wal-Mart into the UK and German markets has pushed the private label development, especially also by the reactions of the other retailers.