National-brand frozen food companies have been keeping an eye on the rearview mirror as private label sales have grown during the recession’s penny-pinching days. Store brands have made gains in several frozen categories. However, while tough times may have changed the shopping lists of some consumers, the times have not frozen out national brands, which continue to command 80 percent of frozen food sales.
In 2008, private label frozen foods represented one-fifth of total department sales of $29.4 billion (The Nielsen Co., 52 weeks ending Dec. 27, 2008). Over the past few years, statistics show store brands have increased their share in several frozen categories, including ice cream, desserts/fruits/toppings, juices, ice and, in particular, vegetables.
Grocers have followed private label sales increases with interest. “Categories where we have seen significant store-brand share growth include ice cream, vegetables, pizza, bread and dough products, toppings, and fruit,” says Chris Hardin, director of store brands for Tyler, Texas-based Brookshire Grocery Co. “Our store brands lead in volume in several categories, including fruit, ice cream and vegetables.”
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