Portugal’s Continente earned €750 million from sales of private-label food products in 2021, which accounted for 44% of the retailer's overall sales.
The supermarket and hypermarket banner, owned by local retail group MC (formerly Sonae MC), registered a 20% growth in private-label sales over the past two years, amounting to €125 million.
According to the retailer, more than 99% of customers purchased private-label products in 2021, with straciatella yoghurts and Continente's exclusive coffee capsule system emerging as the most popular products, with a repeat purchase rate of over 60%.
Continente launches approximately 360 new private-label products each year and the range comprises more than 4,000 products, of which two out of three are produced in Portugal.
According to MC’s commercial director of private brands, Tânia Lucas, every new product launch involves at least 60 consumers, who evaluate not only the flavours and textures, but also name and packaging options.
Customer participation is encouraged through online communities on Facebook that include weekly challenges to evaluate new product launches, image and packaging proposals, and other factors.
These communities, for example, assessed the development of the +Protein range (liquid protein yoghurts) launched in 2021.
Lucas told Dinheiro Vivo that, over the past two years, salt, sugar and saturated fat levels have been reduced in more than 200 products.
The retailer is focusing on healthy nutrition, with plans to further expand the Continente Bio range of organic products in order to provide customers with new options.
Finally, priority is also given to sustainability, with the recent launch of the Continente Eco range that leaves a smaller environmental footprint.