Private Label Innovation: Connecting To Millennials

Private label brands are manufactured by a particular company under another company’s brands. Over the past few years, private labels have seen a growth in market share. In fact, during the Private Label Manufacturer Association show last year in Chicago, the association indicated that the business continues to grow by 5%.

Private labels are available in different types of industries from cosmetics to food. They are mostly lower cost alternatives to other types of brands. Nielsen noted that the store sales of private labels are estimated to be at $120 billion. Private label company giants like Aldi and Save-A-Lot have catered to retail store companies like Trader Joes and Whole Foods. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, most consumers tend to patronize private label brands because they are cheaper than others.

Why Private Label Is Innovating

The popularity of private labels has presented opportunities to manufacturers of major brands to create products that appeal to private label shoppers. For example, Hormel Foods is launching its latest commercial retail team to help partners grow their private label strategies.

Private labels also need to take a step further to meet the demands of their customers. Private label brands are also venturing into healthier products. For instance, Ohio-based SmithFoods have started producing almond milk aside from traditionally manufacturing milk and other dairy products.  On the other hand, Perrysburg from Ohio manufactures not only private label frozen pizza and snacks but also “better for you” products with organic and gluten-free ingredients.

Millennials Are The Future Consumers

Neil Stern, a senior partner from McMillanDoolittle, noted that most food retailers in the United States are updating their private label offerings to meet the demands of their customers. For now, these private label brands are focusing on producing organic and natural products.

The direction towards healthier options is being driven by younger consumers in the market. Younger or millennial shoppers are now warming up to startup brands especially those that offer healthier choices. Millennials are considered the most aggressive of all types of consumers.


In a recent survey conducted by the PLMA, millennials agreed that they have the knack to try food created in different ways. Meaning that they opt for healthier options that are prepared in the most sustainable way. Their food choices have also reflected their eating habits. However, Millennials do not like to spend an exorbitant amount of money to buy their food. According to the same survey, 75% of millennials tend to shop in the supermarket, where bakery goods and dairy items top their list.

With this data, supermarkets can experience big payoffs by innovating their private labels to meet the eating habits of Millennials.  Store brands have the opportunity to compete with the well-recognized national brands and in some cases, win.

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