Despar Italia, a consortium of six distribution companies and affiliated retailers, has had a positive 2023 so far, driven by the performance of its private-label products.
The retailer plans to continue investing in private labels, launching new products, and working on innovation, with the goal of achieving a market share of 25% with its private-label products by 2025.
The company has also expanded its sales network and renovated existing stores in 2023, opening 37 new locations and renovating 26 existing stores. The expansion was evenly spread across Italy, with notable growth in Piedmont, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, Calabria, and northern Sardinia.
Despar Italia's private label products account for 22.4% of total sales in the grocery sector, which is higher than the Italian average of 22.2%.
The retailer's private label offering comprises over 3,600 products and 4,500 SKUs, including organic, gluten-free, and vegan options.
More than 90% of its private-label products are sourced from Italian suppliers, and in many cases, its range is comprised of regional products.
Since the start of the year, Despar Italia has launched 183 new private-label SKUs and reformulated 130 existing products. New products include Despar bread and pizza dough, Premium risottos and frozen soups, Vital protein bars, and Enjoy fresh fruit extracts.
The retailer plans to launch around 250 new products and reformulate another 250 by the end of this year.
Its Despar private-label brand recorded the highest turnover growth (+16.3%), followed by Despar Enjoy (+49.7%) and Despar Premium (+7.5%).
For the upcoming holiday season, Despar Italia plans to launch a new range featuring 22 festive premium food products, including canned tuna fillets.
Despar Italia is also taking a number of steps to reduce its environmental impact, combat food waste, and support its communities, the report added.
The company plans to unveil its Sustainability Manifesto and launch its new Cambiamo il Domani private-label brand in the near future.
It is working with private-label suppliers to calculate and reduce the carbon footprint of its products. Four products are already registered in the Carbon Footprint Italy programme and 27 more are being evaluated.
Elsewhere, Despar Italia has joined Too Good To Go's 'Etichetta Consapevole' (Conscious Labeling) initiative in an effort to combat food waste by promoting consumer awareness of 'use by' and 'best by' dates.
This label has been included on some products, such as Premium brand semolina pasta, Scelta Verde brand spelt pasta, and Vital barley pasta, with plans to extend it to other products in the future.