Private Label

Who’s Winning In Private Label, And What’s Driving Development?: Analysis

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Who’s Winning In Private Label, And What’s Driving Development?: Analysis

With private label share of sales rising across much of Western Europe, IGD has published a series of three reports examining trends in private label in Western Europe and profiling ten retailers that are leading the way. Harriet Cohen, senior retail analyst at IGD, reports.

Over the past three years, private label share of sales has grown in both value and volume terms across much of Western Europe. Private label has been key in supporting value messaging for retailers in several markets. Private label in Spain, Switzerland and the UK has the highest volume share, while Turkey and Italy have the lowest.

According to PLMA data over the last three years, France, Portugal and Spain are among the key markets to watch. While each country is different, some of the common drivers of advancement include discounter-driven private label development, health and wellness, sustainability and prepared meal solutions.

Factors Driving Private Label Development

There are four over-arching themes that are shaping private label development across Western Europe region. These include:

Spotlighting Value

The rise of savvier shopping behaviours has led to retailers increasing their focus on showcasing value, placing private label at the core of their strategies. This trend is particularly prominent for those looking to meet the needs of families.


Hero Categories

Delivering ‘meal for tonight’ inspiration remains key. New product development needs to prioritise healthy, sustainable, inspirational and premium options. In addition, local sourcing from farm-to-fork will continue to rise up the agenda.

Health And Lifestyle

Shoppers are looking for retailers to support them with leading healthier lifestyles. Best in class retailers are taking the lead in reacting to and meeting shoppers’ new and emerging demands for goods that meet their changing lifestyles and choices.


Retailers are incorporating sustainable solutions into their private label strategies, updating packaging, sourcing locally and supporting communities. Meanwhile, shoppers are also looking for retailers to provide affordable and sustainable products.

Who’s Winning In Western Europe, And Why?

From Albert Heijn to Lidl, Marks & Spencer to SPAR Austria and beyond, our latest research looks at how retailers are investing in private label to drive relevance, compete and gain market share.


Although each retailer has a varied approach, some of the common strategies include focusing on the shopper, sustaining the pace of innovation and maximising the online opportunity.

One retailer we’ve spotlighted is Sweden’s Axfood. Over the last decade, its private label share of sales has increased by 8.9% to 30.9%.

Axfood has 22 different private labels. Garant is the largest private label range and both Garant and Eldorado are ‘most strongly positioned' with respect to price and quality. Garant has a distinct sustainability profile and is regarded as a 'trusted choice with respect to quality’.

Elsewhere, the Eldorado private label range, which includes ‘products you can depend on at low prices’, targets millennials and young people.


Emma Töpel Hanson, of Axfood explans, "Eldorado has become a brand that millennials think is communicatively interesting due to the fact that we are quick to jump on contemporary trends. It aims to be the best discount alternative with a focus on basic and bulk products".

One novel innovation launched by Eldorado was an Instagram filter, becoming one of the first Swedish brands to tap into the ‘what type ... are you?’ Instagram feature. In a week, 200,000 people had seen it and over 20,000 unique accounts had used it.

Eldorado also recently released its third summer collection in 2021, including five unique items that can be purchased via a dedicated website. This includes swimwear and baseball caps, featuring prints of select Eldorado products. Axfood is promoting the range on social media and has become the first brand to advertise on Billboat, a digital advertising space located on a barge that travels around Stockholm.

Eldorado is also taking product launches to new heights, recently celebrating the launch of an organic tofu by launching it into the stratosphere at a height of over 33,000 metres. Sweden’s organic food’s share of grocery sales is one of the highest in Europe, with sales of organic food increasing by 3.5% in 2020.


Grow your private label business at the EMD Private Label Supplier Meeting Days, from 29-30 September, where you can build and enhance trading relationships with an exclusive group of retailers that includes Dagab (Axfood), ESD Italia, Euromadi Iberica SA and MARKANT Deutschland. Find out more here.

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest Private Label news. Article by Harriet Cohen, IGD. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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