Mintel International, Chicago, reports nearly 1,800 new U.S. private label foods have appeared on retail store shelves this year, according to its Global New Products Database. That is the equivalent of 27 percent of all food products introduced this year. In 2005, private label foods comprised only 13 percent of new food product launches, it says.
"Not only have private label introductions increased, but product innovation is reaching unprecedented highs," said Krista Faron, senior analyst at Mintel. "Retailers no longer only launch 'me-too' products to compete against major national brands. Instead, private label lines are hotbeds of creativity, driving markets and establishing themselves as trend leaders." Mintel GNPD sees health and nutrition increasingly influencing product development.
"Private label manufacturers realize 'value' means more than 'low price' to consumers, so they're wisely creating new products that deliver on some of today's most exciting food trends," Faron said. Mintel forecasts private label sales will grow an additional 8.1 percent by the end of 2009.