Store brands lose market share, according to new IRI study

New research from IRI provides new insight on the private label landscape.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
Zachary Russell profile picture

Chicago-based data research firm IRI has released a new, wide-ranging study on the consumer demand for private brands.

The study’s highlights include private brands losing market share after decades of growth, supply chain challenges impacting own brand availability and trust being a key purchase driver of private brands. IRI recently predicted that store brands could thrive in 2022 given the impact of inflation.

“Historically, consumers have navigated to store brand products during challenging economic times,” said IRI. “Current inflation and economic uncertainty would indicate that growth of private brands should be outpacing that of name brand products, but that’s not the case. This report provides an update on the store brand landscape and identifies retailer opportunities to increase demand for their own brand and private brand offerings.”

To discuss the findings of the study, the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) will host a Lunch & Learn online event on Jan. 20. Mary Ellen Lynch of IRI’s Center of Store Solutions Group will dive into the store brand landscape and identify opportunities it creates for retailers to build demand for their brands, followed by a Q&A session. 

“Our Lunch & Learn program on IRI’s new thought leadership study will contribute to increasing strategic collaboration that can open doors to new relationships and build lasting trust among store brand manufacturers and retailers,” said PLMA president Peggy Davies.

For Lunch & Learn registration information, please contact [email protected].

shopping data

According to the research, the shift to at-home consumption, trading up to premium offerings and more have steered shoppers away from store brands. From October of 2019 to October of 2021, the share of store brands in the total grocery sales has shrunk from 17.5% to 17.3%, despite total sales rising from $828 billion to $963 billion.

While the market share of private label brands as a whole is decreasing, certain categories of store brands have seen major gains during the past two years. Top growing edible store brands categories include shelf-stable breakfast foods (+274% vs. 2YA), ham (+736% vs. 2YA), sporks drinks (+182% vs. 2YA) and more. Top growing non-edible categories include hair conditioner (+196% vs. 2YA), baby toys, gifts and furniture (+131% vs. 2YA) and external pain relieving rubs (+110% vs. 2YA).

The study also shed light onto the demographics of the “store brand loyalists,” compared to “name brand loyalists,” households where private label is greater than 27% of total dollar spend. Store brand loyalists tend to have larger households, lower income, are less urban, are older homeowners and are white. IRI added that SNAP recipients account for over 40% of private label purchases across key categories, including meat, fruit, pies & cakes and more.

The full report from IRI can be found here.