Exclusive: Europe Innovates in Own Label Food

Private Label

Investment in private label continues to gather pace across the European retail market, with recent developments across different tiers including entry level, premium, organic and ethical ranges. Focusing on innovation in this area is one clear way for retailers to differentiate themselves in the market, with seven recent activities standing out to IGD’s Head of EMEA Retail Insight Jon Wright in particular.

  1. UK – Tesco unveils Jack’s private label range in new discount format

Last September, Tesco introduced the Jack’s private label range exclusively in its new discount format, with 70% of the first store’s 2,600 SKUs being private label. The range has been developed in partnership with 350 existing Tesco suppliers and includes a number of innovative products. It is pitched at a similar quality specification to the ‘Exclusively at Tesco’ entry level private label tier.

Developed in response to changing shopper behavior, Jack’s is a limited range compact supermarket and is designed to offer ease of shopping. With a strong value focus, it has pledged to be the cheapest in town, with quality benchmarked against competitors.

  1. Sweden – Coop Sverige re-launches organic range

Sweden-based Coop Sverige has relaunched its Änglamark organic private label range, with new products being sold later this month across al 650 stores and online. The initiative is aimed at delivering an expanded range, product innovations and improved labelling, making it easier and better for shoppers to live a sustainable life.

Organic foods are becoming more prevalent across the retail landscape, as industries and consumers become more engaged with the sector. The market is increasingly complex and competitive as more organic private labels, brands and categories emerge and expand. Western Europe has the second largest organic market size globally, after North America, with demand for specialist, healthy and transparent food with reduced environmental impact drives organic demand in Europe.

  1. Norway – REMA 1000 adds ‘often good after’ to best before labels

In neighbouring Norway, discounter REMA 1000 is adding ‘often food after’ to the best before labels of its private label products across canned food, eggs, dairy and dry foods, in a move to reduce the country’s food waste levels. This follows a successful trial where the retailer added ‘often good after’ to its private label eggs.

  1. Netherlands – Jumbo expands La Place range

Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Jumbo has introduced more La Place products as it celebrates its private label tenth anniversary, having acquired the foodservice brand in 2016 and selling products exclusively since 2017. More widely, Jumbo’s private label range now includes 9,000 products.

  1. Belgium – Carrefour widens Fairtrade private label product range

Launched in time with Fairtrade Week 2018, Carrefour has introduced new organic Fairtrade products, bringing its total number of these items sold to 113. The products join Carrefour’s existing Fairtrade range of Sélection coffee, in addition to bananas and jam.

  1. Portugal – Continente introduces 300 new products with more to come

Elsewhere in Europe, at the Open House by Continente event in September 2018, Sonae MC’s Commercial Director for Private Label announced the launch of 300 new private label products so far this year from the retailer. Going forward, the retailer has claimed it will prioritise its Equilíbrio (balanced diet) and Seleção (premium fresh) ranges, which account for 8% and 4% of private label sales respectively, although both have enjoyed double-digit growth.

Meanwhile, the retailer’s organic private label range will be extended from 50 products currently, with the anticipation of triple-digit growth. More widely, private label accounts for 30% of Continente’s sales.

  1. UK – Iceland eliminates plastic packaging for private label ranges

Frozen food specialist Iceland has committed to eliminating plastic packaging for all its private label products. The retailer undertook several initiatives in 2018 to limit the use plastic, including launching its first private label frozen ready meals in paper-based trays in-store in February 2018.

Jon Wright will be speaking more on private label innovations and IGD’s global trend predictions for 2019 at PLMA’s upcoming Roundtable Conference on the 27th and 28th February. 

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