PLMA/Circana: Private Label Kicks-Off 2023 With Continued Gains

Following a record-setting 2022, private label continued to see success in Q1 of 2023 in both food and nonfood categories.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Woman grocery shopping

The Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) and data firm Circana have released new numbers detailing private label’s growth in Q1 of this year.

Across all U.S. grocery channels, store brand dollar volume jumped 10.3% year-over-year as of March 26. The growth is nearly twice that of national brands (which grew 5.6%), compared to the same three-month period a year ago. Dollar share rose to 19.1% and unit share advanced to 20.8% versus Q1 of last year, when the numbers were 18.5% for dollars and 20.3% for units. 

“The Q1 results are particularly impressive since they are compared to 2022 sales figures, which were historically high for U.S. store brands,” commented PLMA President Peggy Davies.

Among the 17 food and nonfood departments Circana tracks for PLMA, 15 saw increased private dollar sales during the first quarter of 2023. Double-digit gain categories were Beverages (+17.1%), Bakery (+16.8%), General Food (+16%), Refrigerated (+15.5%), Floral (+13.1%), Deli Prepared (+12.4%) and Health Care (+10%). 

Other departmental dollar sale winners included Deli Cheese (+9%), General Merchandise (+8.8%), Beauty (+7.4%), Frozen (+7.1%), Produce (+6.8%), Deli Meat and Liquor (both at +5.8%) and Health (+4.3%). Only Tobacco (-11.8%) and Meat (-1.6%) slipped. 

 Looking at store brand unit sales, six departments improved, led by Floral (+5%), Deli Prepared (+2.1%), Bakery (+1.8%), General Merchandise (+1.3%), Produce (+0.8%) and Liquor (+0.7%). 

As was the case last year, all brands shed units. But like in 2022, private label units decreased far less than those of national brands. During Q1 of 2023, they were off 1% vs minus 3.9% for national brands, about a quarter of the decline. 

PLMA and Circana’s next monthly report is expected May 1. Founded in 1979, PLMA represents more than 4,000 member companies worldwide.