Nielsen said private label products in Ireland now account for a quarter of the total FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) market. Ireland still lags behind the European average – 30% of FMCG sales by value are private label across Europe.
“In Ireland there is scope for private label to grow further,” said Nielsen, reporting on the results of an online survey that polled more than 30,000 consumers in 60 countries to understand their perceptions of private label.
Lack of variety
Variety of products is the biggest barrier preventing Irish consumers from buying more private label products, with 65% of Irish respondents saying they would buy more if a larger variety was available.
Price was the primary motivator for consumers, including Irish consumers, 81% of whom said they bought private label goods to save money, and 75% said they thought private label goods were extremely good value for money.
“However price alone does not explain this popularity,” the market researcher said.
Private label manufacturers have been taking note of tactics used by big brand manufacturers to sell and market their products, establishing cobranding and licensing partnerships, playing up sustainability and ethical credentials, discussing ingredient provenance, and increasing packaging quality.
This drive for increased quality is paying off: Almost two thirds of Irish survey respondents said they thought the quality of private label products was just as good as named brands, and nearly half (48%) said some private label goods were superior to named brands. Under a third (32%) of Irish consumers said they thought branded goods were worth extra money.
Switzerland has the highest private label share in Europe at 45%, followed by the UK and Spain at 41% each, according to Nielsen figures.