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Emerging Private Brand trends for 2024

Round-up of the latest insights and US trade show observations
2 mins 30


December 2023

Andy Johnson, our Commercial Director, shares his view on the latest insights and dominant themes he observed first-hand at US trade shows, with a comprehensive round-up of the key trends set to shape the landscape of Private Brands. And what this means for brands and brand packaging.

Based on our extensive research and insights, coupled with visits to diverse US trade shows, it is fairly obvious where food and non-food manufacturers are directing their efforts and resources to secure coveted Private Brand listings with retailers.

Private Brand is undergoing serious growth globally, and in the US, it’s now a 230 billion dollar sales business [1], with 89% of customers now trusting Private Label and 86% of customers believing quality is equitable to National Brands [2].

The original concept behind Private Brand was accessibility for everyone and anyone. Now, Private Brand is maturing and advancing to even offer bespoke products that address the specialist needs of sub-groups of consumers.

Expect to see emerging Private Brand range alternatives from categories such as these…

Plant-based choice continues to grow

From start-ups to established Private Brand suppliers, companies are innovating rapidly in the plant-based market. Next-generation plant-based meat, egg, and dairy products are increasingly competitive with animal products on taste (we did a few taste tests), price, and accessibility, though more opportunities remain. The level of product innovation is particularly high with an abundance of flavour choices within ranges; take for example Fomilk; a plant-based drinks, spreads and nut butters business we spotted at the Private Label Trade Manuafacturers Show in Chicago.

From a brand packaging perspective, we see opportunities to gain shelf stand out by stripping back design even further and focusing on the natural goodness and health benefits of these products – with effortlessly simple messaging. Our creative team are experienced in plant-based creative, see our brand creation work for Hope a new plant-based cheese brand successfully launched in the UK and Germany.

Proud provenance is prominent

Country and even regionally-based products feature heavily at US shows, with pavilions showcasing the best of national cuisine with France, Italy and Spain to name a few, as well as emerging but lesser known culinary destinations such as Serbia and Estonia. Country pride shine through, with all suppliers having compelling stories to tell about the provenance of the ingredients and what differentiated them from the CPG brands in their sector. I’m particularly impressed by the Tohi Distillery, an Estonian gin company who had developed unique flavours using local ingredients.

As Private Brand gains in popularity, expect to see ranges expand with more diverse product selections using artisan suppliers such as Tohi. From a packaging perspective, this gives opportunity to more creative design and further strengthen brand equity and loyalty in Private Brands (so long as price, taste and availability tick the boxes too).

Health products – for the in-side and out

The health agenda is ever-present and browsing product stands in both food and non-food continuously re-emphasized that. In the non-food arena, health and beauty selections are abundant with a focus on both clean beauty products and clinical skincare – and as much about health as aesthetic efficacity.

In food, again health meets lifestyle meets established categories to deliver expanded choice and range for Private Brands. Consider chocolate; not historically a product associated with health and yet companies such as Brooklyn Born Chocolate stand-out with their Keto range (low carb), Paleo range (unprocessed, no additives, vegan) and Boosted Bites (chocolate with magnesium, biotin and collagen).

Going forward, we see even more lifestyle-led Private Brand product offers and with that benefit driven design and communication on pack, but with an aesthetic that mirrors the life this audience lives. Our US Client Director, Samantha Lee, highlights how US consumers are strongly considering their lifestyle values in the buying mix in her latest blog here.

This is just a flavour of the innovation happening right now in Private Brand product categories and opportunities are boundless, and with that the white space to deliver brilliant brand packaging – in creative, graphics, legal, tech and sustainability – has never been so inviting.

We already achieve brilliant brand packaging for Walmart, see our work on Parent’s Choice, one of their hero Private Brands. We could help grow your existing Private Brands too or create new compelling brands from scratch.

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