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Private Label

Exploring Studenac's Private-Label Strategy With Rafał Cieślakowski

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Exploring Studenac's Private-Label Strategy With Rafał Cieślakowski

As part of our dedicated Private Label Issue, ESM spoke to industry leaders at a number of retailers across the continent, about why they believe private label continues to set the pace in European retail. This article first appeared in ESM's May/June 2023 edition.

Rafał Cieślakowski
Chief Commercial Officer, Studenac (Croatia)

The current inflationary situation has led many customers to embrace private labels. What trends have you noticed at your company?

Looking at the current situation with high inflation that’s affecting the entire range of products, we see that customers are switching from branded products to private-label substitutes, which can offer similar quality for a more reasonable price. 

Sales of private labels are steadily increasing across Europe. Last year they exceeded €300 billion, and today private labels account for 37% of sales in European retail chains, on average. As in other markets, at Studenac, we are definitely seeing consumers make the switch. Sales of private labels rose by 83% in 2022, and 38% so far this year.

In what product categories have you seen the highest private-label growth, and why?

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We’re seeing high interest in our Nuvolette non-food line, as well as Moje Jutro dairy products and Bonkulović charcuterie, which we’re still expanding, to add new products. 

Studenac has a very wide range of private-label products, and our other private-label lines are also frequently purchased by our customers.

We also see potential in several categories, such as frozen products, charcuterie and confectionery, where we currently have limited or no products under our label. We will be introducing them in the coming months. 

How are you seeking to adapt your private-label offering to cater to both value-hungry and premium shoppers?

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For the moment, we’re not offering any premium private-label products, such as olives, cheese or pasta, but this is a trend we’re keeping a close eye on, and we may decide to introduce them at some stage.

One thing Croatian consumers are definitely looking for is sustainability – and this is true at every price point. Studenac strives for sustainable development in every aspect of our business, so we cannot compromise on private-label products either. We work with manufacturers who promote sustainable production strategies and who can present reliable quality and environmental credentials. We are looking for opportunities to offer our clients products in packaging which is either recyclable, comes from recycled materials, or is environmentally friendly.

We are most definitely planning on launching healthy lines of products. Currently, our private-label products include the NFC line of juices, and a line of dry fruits and nuts. In the future, we would like to develop healthy lines in most of the categories where we have a private-label presence.

This year we will launch a new line of products that will enrich our offering, and we are planning campaigns that will stress our high product quality. 

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Read More: Studenac CEO Michal Seńczuk On The Retailer's Rapid Growth

© 2023 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest private-label news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones and Robert McHugh. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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