Is own-label losing relevance in convenience?

Pouring away own-label beer

There has been a long-term decline in convenience baskets containing own-label items, according to research from HIM & MCA Insight.

The recently launched HIM UK Convenience Report 2019 indicates that, in 2019, 82% of baskets contained no own-label products. This means 18% of baskets did have an own-label product in it, down from 22% last year.

When segmented by store type, the data revealed that an average of 13% of baskets in symbol stores and 14% in independents contained own-label products. In comparison, managed c-stores and super c-stores had a much higher penetration, 34% and 45% respectively.

The report highlights that brands are more important than ever in Convenience, with 55% of convenience shoppers stating that they like buying branded grocery products, rather than a generic equivalent.

Blonnie Walsh, Senior Insight Manager at HIM & MCA Insight, commented: “In the current economic environment, where squeezed disposable income and waste reduction are hot topics, it comes as a surprise to see the dominance of brands across the channel. With only 18% of baskets containing own-label products, shoppers are not necessarily looking to trade down within convenience.”

Walsh said drinks categories were particularly brand led, with energy drinks, carbonated soft drinks, hot drinks-to-go and lager making up four of the top five brand-led categories.

“It is important to understand that this is an overall average and does not mean there is no room for own-label within convenience,” she said. “Managed c-stores and super c-stores are much more balanced in terms of own-label vs. brands, but independents and symbol groups are some way behind.

“Retailers, suppliers and wholesalers need to understand the shopper dynamics behind own-label in order to identify the categories with that offer the best opportunity.”

Click or tap here for more information on the HIM & MCA Insight UK Convenience Report 2019.