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The Mystery of Private Brands

By: Doug Baker, Vice President Industry Relations for Private Brands, Technology, Food Marketing Institute pantry

Next time you’re visiting a friend or family member’s home, I dare you to take a peek in their pantry or refrigerator and see how many private brand products you find. My guess is you’ll discover quite a few. You may even lose count. That’s because, according to the recently released Power of Private Brands report, nearly all U.S. households (96 percent) are purchasing some form of private brand product at retail outlets that sell food.

But there is a private brands enigma going on. According to The Food Retailing Industry Speaks 2016 report, while 98 percent of food retailers report using private brands as a differentiation tactic, the strategy only scored 6.6 on a 10-point scale for successfulness. This indicates that while most food retailers are utilizing a private brands strategy to set themselves apart from competition, many are experiencing mixed results and the success of the strategy remains undetermined.

FMI’s Private Brand Council looked at this conundrum and decided to undertake a multidimensional view of the private brand business by conducting numerous forms of research and analysis. At the heart, the group wanted to know, “What really is the Power of Private Brands?”

The resulting report, Power of Private Brands, includes analytics from research partners Information Resources Inc. and Daymon, and looks at the issue through four different lenses:

  • from the Register;
  • from the Consumer;
  • from the Industry; and
  • from the World.

If you’re looking for insights and how to improve your private brands strategy then this report is a must read to get a 360-degree perspective. At the same time, FMI is hosting a series of webinars on the Power of Private Brands with insights from the researchers and experts. Click below to register and learn more for each webinar and download the full report at

March 29, 2017 - Power of Private Brands: Looking Deeper for Answers

April 20, 2017 - Power of Private Brands: Understanding Disruption

May 17, 2017 - Power of Private Brands: New Partner Perspectives

June 21, 2017 - Power of Private Brands: Bringing Scale to Personalization