Market Share Climbs in 13 of 20 Countries across Europe 

By Lynne Cooke

Europe is on a roll when it comes to private label.

The popularity of store brands keeps growing across Europe, says latest Nielsen sales data compiled for the 2016 international yearbook from the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA). Market share for retailer brands increased in 13 of the 20 countries tracked by Nielsen.

“The latest Nielsen statistics reveal clearly that 2015 was a good year for retailer brands in Europe. There were gains for private label in both large and small retail markets as well as in all geographic regions,” said Brian Sharoff, President of PLMA.

The data was released shortly after the association’s 2016 “World of Private Label’ trade show in Amsterdam. The size, scope and excitement of the annual event verified the positive Nielsen sales statistics. More than 11,000 buyers and visitors from more than 110 countries attended. On the trade show floor, attendees had the opportunity to visit more than 2,400 exhibiting companies, manufacturers and suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods from more than 70 countries.

According to Nielsen’s data, volume share climbed to 46% in the UK, reaching its highest level there since 2010. Prospects look good for even more gains in the future as private label plays an increasingly important role in the fierce competition between supermarkets and the discounters.

Private label share is growing again in France despite the best efforts by the A-brands to stop it through costly price promotions. Volume share climbed over 35%, its highest level since 2012.

In Germany, where supermarkets have battled discounters for decades, market share for retailer brands stayed above 40% for the eighth consecutive year. Private label now accounts for four of every ten products sold in Austria, and in Switzerland market share has stayed over 50% for more than a decade.

In the north, all four of the Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – posted market share gains.

The Nielsen data shows that retailer brands have made extraordinary progress in Central and Eastern Europe. Volume share has climbed above 30% in Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, while private label share in Poland is now nearly four times as high as when Nielsen first started compiling statistics there in 2003.

There also have been gains among the Mediterranean countries. In Spain, market share stayed above 50% for the fourth consecutive year, while shoppers in Italy, Greece and Turkey keep putting more private label products in their baskets. In Portugal, market share remains above 40%.

A special attraction at this year’s trade show in Amsterdam was PLMA’s Idea Supermarket, where visitors can see displays of the products which won the association’s 2016 Salute to Excellence Awards for innovation. Forty-three retailers from 18 countries won awards and were recognized at ceremonies during the pre-show seminars. This year’s Salute to Excellence Awards was expanded to include private label wines for the first time.

Trade show visitors could see private label ranges from more than 60 retailers around the world displayed on gondolas at the Idea Supermarket. This year the Idea Supermarket was expanded and featured a special information area that focused on the latest developments in product ingredients. Another new area shows creative television commercials that retailers are using to promote their own brands.

For more information about PLMA’s international trade show and its 2016 yearbook, contact Leonique White, Manager Trade Show Development, PLMA International Council, at telephone: +31 20 5753032, or email:

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                                                                           August 2016
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