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Store brand dairy, meat alternatives thrive during pandemic

Ingredient company Kerry Group shares data on five private label categories that jumped during key pandemic months and how they trended in the months after.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Private brand meat alternatives and dairy alternatives were two categories that saw significant growth during prime pandemic months, according to data from Kerry Group and Nielsen Consumer data.

The global food and beverage ingredient company shared stats ahead of a webinar it’s hosting on “The Future of Private Label.”

The company shared Nielsen Consumer data that showed for the six months before COVID-19 (September 2019 through February 2020), store brand meat alternative products were up 43.5%, and then six months later, early pandemic, saw sales grow by nearly 62%. For the ensuing five months, roughly September into the new year, what they referred to as a “path to normal,” the private label category saw sales gains curb slightly back to normal at a 48% lift — still major growth.

Private brand dairy alternatives were up 7.6% in sales growth pre-COVID, jumped nearly 19% during early pandemic months (roughly March 2020 through August 2020) and then settled still at a large growth number at 13.5% growth during the months leading up toward more normalcy, per the researchers. 

Kerry Group is focusing on developing more sustainable food solutions. The company also noted large sales gains for meals and sides in private label, including a 22.6% lift during key months that dissipated to a 4% growth into the new year. Functional beverages were up 14.6% pre-COVID, 11% during early COVID and up 7% the later months. Sauces, condiments and dressings went from a .1% gain before COVID-19 to a whopping 17.2% gain during the early months of the pandemic and tapered to a 7.7% gain in the later months.

Kerry Group will present with Nielsen during a webinar on April 20. Attendees can register here.

Store Brands is also hosting a webinar a week after on April 27 that will drill more into how and where consumer behavior has shifted during the pandemic and what retailers and their private brand suppliers should be doing to prepare for consumers in the months ahead. 

The webinar features thought leaders from leading analysts at IRI and Solutions 4 Retail Brands, sharing market trends and how that’s aligning with consumer behavior trends.

The free virtual session, “COVID-19. What’s Next?,” sponsored by packaging leader Mold-Rite Plastics can be found here for registration. The webinar is running at 2 p.m. (EST), April 27.

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