Own-brand products selling like hot cakes
RECESSION-busting shoppers are turning more and more to own-brand products on the supermarket shelves in an effort to stretch their already squeezed budgets, new figures reveal.
'Yellow packs' was once the generic term used to describe cheap products but retailer own brands have doubled in popularity in the past decade and now enjoy a healthy one-third slice of the Irish grocery market.
Sales of private-label or own-brand products are worth an estimated €3bn, with many of the lines produced by well-known manufacturers selling under supermarket labels.
All the supermarket chains offer their own brands and this year the average Irish shopper is expected to spend €1,827 on such products, according to research agency Kantar.
The agency said own-brand value share of the Irish grocery market has grown from 16pc in 2001 to 33.1pc last year and is expected to grow further this year.
Branded products from well-known manufacturers usually get a sales boost at Christmas. However, this trend was reversed last month with own-label ranges growing in value by 5pc while branded lines remained flat.
Consumers' Association of Ireland spokesman Dermot Jewell said value for money was now "king" for hard-pressed shoppers.
"Shoppers are being careful in what they are buying and are trying to make their money stretch but they are looking for more than one or two own- brand items in their shopping baskets," he said.
Tesco yesterday claimed 98pc of its customers now buy at least one own-brand food item as part of their weekly shopping.
"We've come a long way from yellow packs and Irish consumers are now very knowledgeable when it comes to own-label products," said marketing director Kenny Jacobs, following the launch of the group's 'Switch and Save' promotion of own-label products.
The most popular own-brand items are milk, bread, sugar, butter, eggs and cleaning products.
Sales of own-brand make-up and baking products are also in demand accounting for 60pc and 30pc of sales in their respective categories.
The supermarket chain said more than 100 Irish companies will be producing around 2,000 products for the retailer's own-label lines this year.
Among the local suppliers are Manning's Bakery from Dublin, Carton Brothers from Cavan, Hilton Foods from Drogheda, Brogan's Bakery from Galway and Mulrines in Donegal.
Tesco expects to sell over €200m in Irish products as part of its own-label ranges in Ireland and the UK this year.