Own Label Is Stepping Up the Game

Own Label Is Stepping Up the Game

Wage stagnation, inflation, shrinkflation – there are so many demands on shoppers’ wallets nowadays, and the pinch is really starting to bite. Consumer spending habits are changing as value-savvy shoppers start cutting back. But rather than choosing the cheaper, poor-quality knockoffs to save a few pennies, consumers are buying higher quality than ever before – simply splashing the cash less often for an occasional treat, or going without altogether.

This trend is particularly prevalent in certain sectors such as chocolate and alcohol (or what I call the most important things in life!) – non-essentials, but where a little bit of luxury makes a lot of difference. Premium wine is knocking cheaper SKUs, such as Echo Falls, from the shelf, and it’s no secret that sales of craft spirits are booming. It’s not that we’ve got more money in our pockets – volume is steady, or even in decline, whilst sales soar – but the younger generation are seeing mealtimes as occasions, and occasions worth spending money on.

It appears that when it comes to their shopping baskets, consumers are taking a ‘less but better’ approach. While Brits are on a money diet, forced to slim down their bills with increased pressure, they’re choosing not to count calories but make their calories count.

Own label has been particularly smart at stepping up the game. Basics ranges can no longer afford to be poor quality but cheap knock-offs of existing brands. Instead, they’re muscling to prove their high quality and taste despite the cheaper price point, with top-tier own label such as Tesco Finest have shot up 36% to be worth £3.7 million in the past four years. They’re taking on established brands for quality and taste – and more often than not, they’re winning.

It’s also a great time for innovation, as shoppers can be tempted to try out new, more luxurious items – such as exciting new flavours, twists on much-loved classics, or handier packaging. It was great to see so many brands hitting the mark perfectly at the Food & Drink Expo at the NEC last month – cheers to innovation!

This is where the Product of the Year endorsement is incredibly valuable for brands and consumers alike. The famous red logo guides shoppers to the most innovative items on the shelves, so they know which products are worthy of their hard-earned cash. And because all Product of the Year winners have been voted for by real people – not experts, nutritionists, or supermarkets – you know that it’s a real accreditation of consumer choice.