The Private Label Issue – Kesko
As part of ESM's annual Private Label Issue, we spoke to Elina Suuriniemi, planning manager at Finnish retailer Kesko, about how the prolonged closure of the HoReCa channel has presented opportunities for private label. This article first appeared in ESM Issue 1 2021.
In April, Finnish operator Kesko reported the strongest first quarter in its history, with grocery sales rising by 6.1%, and close to half of this growth (48%) coming from its online channel.
As with many retailers across Europe, while its foodservice business has taken a hit as a result of the prolonged closure of the HoReCa channel, Kesko has sought to double down on the increased at-home presence of its shoppers, with private-label innovation playing a key part therein.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, sales of own-brands had a noticeable pickup,” says Elina Suuriniemi, planning manager, Kesko. “While the effect of hoarding resulted in an overall increase in demand for own-brands, during the year, some product groups developed better than others – for example, vegetables, processed meats, seasonings, soups, sauces and ambient foods, as well as beverages. Also, the premium segment has grown. The inability to visit restaurants has shifted customer focus to enjoying good food at home.”
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