Are own brand products as good as the renowned brand manufacturers?
Thanks to legal regulations, the food standard and thus also the quality of private label products in Germany are very high. In addition, the reputation of the retailers creates trust in the quality of their products and many customers now know that behind a private label is usually a very well-known and renowned brand manufacturer. It comes to no surprise that price-conscious buyers like to buy private label products to satisfy their everyday needs instead of the often equivalent, but more expensive manufacturer brands.
Why is the selection of private label products often limited?
Mango, blackberry-vanilla or apple strudel? If you want to constantly try new flavours of yoghurt, you will be happier with the brand manufacturer. Private labels, on the other hand, tend to focus more on a few standard variants such as strawberry and peach. This allows large quantities to be produced at reasonable prices with good benefits and quality at the same time.
Can private labels also meet luxury needs?
In the beginning, private labels had to be cheap and satisfy basic needs. Accordingly, the packaging was just as simple. But with the increasing competition of retailers starting in the mid-1990s their value began to rise. The retailers positioned themselves as a brand and also developed their private label assortment - from basic to premium and organic. Some discounters now offer luxury items as part of special sales promotions. This reconciliation of what is actually irreconcilable - called miracle structure in the sociology of brand awareness - gets people’s attention and makes these private labels successful.
Own brands at METRO
METRO own brands account for around 20% of the assortment. The products are precisely tailored to the needs of the core customer groups. They are developed together with restaurateurs and traders to ensure that they meet all quality and handling requirements. Own brands are also a major lever for translating METRO's sustainability strategy directly into products.
Worldwide, METRO carries more than 500 organic products under own brand, of which 100 products have been developed internationally and 400 regionally. METRO own brands reflect local requirements and a wide variety of customer needs, which is why the number of organic products on the shelves differs from country to country.
The interest of customers in the topic of sustainability was also confirmed by a METRO customer survey in all METRO countries.
Will the private label share in the food sector continue to increase?
The proportion of private labels in the food retail sector currently stands at over 37%. The introduction of premium and organic segments is expected to further enhance their position and align them with brand-name products. But they do not displace manufacturer's brands. The customers want to dive into the colourful garden of brand-name products while they are shopping. If you take that away, the shopping experience is ruined. That means, it is also in the retailers' best interest to provide a balanced and diverse brand mix.
With Aro, METRO Chef & METRO Professional and METRO Premium, there are a range of price and quality categories to choose from that serve different customer needs. The Carnaroli rice has recieved an "International Salute to Excellence Award"*. Next to the innovative packaging, the "king of italian" rice comes with a outstanding capacity to absorb liquids , resulting in superior al dente texture when making a velvety risotto and therefore beloved by chefs around the world.
*The Awards are presented once a year by the Private Label Manufactures Association (PLMA). They commend outstanding private label products.
When do consumers use private label products versus the manufacturer's product?
Private labels are primarily bought for daily consumption. But when people want to treat themselves, for example because they are celebrating a birthday, had a bad day or want to show their guests that they can afford something slightly more exquisite, they may prefer to reach for a drink from the brand manufacturer. Because advertising
About ... Oliver Errichiello
Oliver Errichiello is Managing Director and founder of the Brand Development Office. The socio-economist and brand sociologist focusses mainly on brand analysis, operational advertising and digitalisation strategies as well as green brand management.