Store Brands: More Than Just a Safe Harbor
in Turbulent Times

July 2010

SymphonyIRI's Times & Trends highlights new developments and critical events across all major CPG categories and channels, providing powerful benchmarking data to help guide your strategic decisions. This issue explores current and emerging store brand trends as well as influencing factors that are helping to define the CPG industry of tomorrow. Retailers and manufacturers with a clear understanding of these trends will forge relationships with consumers that will transcend the economic downturn and fortify their position in the CPG world of tomorrow. A free summary is also accessible via the GMA website at


In years gone by, store brands were known as “generic products.” With black and white labels and basic ingredients, these products were anything but fancy. They were available across a limited number of “commodity” CPG categories, and they were available in a very limited assortment. But, they did meet consumers’ need for low-cost alternatives to brand name CPG products.

How times have changed. Today, retailers rely on store brands for their margin, to bring differentiation for consumers, and for the simple fact that they can control these products much more easily versus national brands. Consumers still rely on store brands for savings, and store brands are looked upon by many as offering equal, or even superior, quality versus name brand CPG products.

As has been the case in past recessionary periods, the country’s latest economic downturn served to reinforce store brands’ position within the CPG industry. But, the recession has prompted change across national brand manufacturers as well. These CPG players have upped their marketing game.



IIn contrast to strong share gains posted in 2009, store brand share performance has been relatively flat over the past year; store brands account for 18.3% of CPG dollar sales and 23.1% of unit sales.

Store brand share growth is strongest in dollar and convenience store channels, driven primarily by increasing breadth and depth of store brand assortment.

Store Brand Share of
Department Spending
All Outlet

click here



Store brand share performance varies quite markedly across, and even within, CPG departments; share growth has moderated, even turned negative, across some key CPG categories over the past several months.


Store Brand Share of CPG Spending
All Outlet
click here


Despite the fact that store brand price fluctuations have been more drastic versus national brands over the course of this current economic downturn, store brands have consistently provided consumers considerable savings over nationally branded products.

Store brand penetration has reached nearly 100%, yet plenty of upward potential remains to be had in driving current buyers to buy more within existing categories and expand purchase behavior into new categories.







Source: SymphonyIRI Times & Trends
SymphonyIRI Group, formerly named Information Resources, Inc. (“IRI”), is the global leader in innovative solutions and services for driving revenue and profit growth in CPG, retail and healthcare companies.