According to HIM, in 2019, 18% of shoppers bought an own label product, down from 22% in 2018 but is this the complete picture?

July 15, 2019
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Contrasting views on own-label performance

At the end of May, the trade press picked up on the HIM UK Convenience Report 2019, by research insight agencies MCA Insight and HIM, which claimed that in 2019 82% of baskets contained no own label products. This means that in 2019, 18% of shoppers bought an own label product, down from 22% in 2018.

The report went on to say that the data highlights symbol stores and independents as catalysts for the low level of penetration for own label products. On average, 13% of baskets in symbol stores and 14% in independents contain own label products. In comparison, managed c-stores and super c-stores have a much higher penetration, 34% and 45%, respectively.

The report also highlighted that “certain categories are driving the numbers,” with certain branded products outstripping own brands with regularity.

Drinks categories are 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,” Walsh added.

The fall from 22% to 18% of baskets is a dramatic fall, and a dramatic claim. We subjected this claim to closer scrutiny.

TRDP Observations and Findings

1. Number and value of baskets containing own label products

Our c-store panel also has 14% baskets containing own label products in 2019, but rather than a decrease, we noted an increase in own label baskets from 13 to 14%.

Own Label Baskets as % of total Baskets

Both the Number of baskets and Value of baskets containing own label products grew by 8% in 2019 compared with 2018. The main categories – drivers are Own label Drinks, Chilled Food and Snacks. Groceries and Confectionery decreased over the period.

% change 2019 to 2018

The Own label top selling products include:

2. Own label basket spend differs from baskets not containing own-label products

Own Label Basket Value £, by category, % total

There are substantial differences in the make-up of own label baskets as compared with baskets that contain no own label items. The most dramatic difference is that in own-label baskets, tobacco makes up only 19% of value, whereas in non-own label, it makes up nearly a third of value. The other main components of the baskets also diverge, with “healthier” products making up a larger proportion of own label baskets.

Within own label baskets there is 4% increase in spend on Own label products and 1% decrease – in associated spend. So instead of Own label being in retreat, transaction-level analysis shows that Own label has actually increased in value in independent c-stores.

Non-Own Label Basket value £, by category, % total

It also means that Own label made up 20% of the value of Own label baskets during the first 5 months of 2019 – up from 19% in the same period last year, as shown below:

Own Label Baskets, average £ spent

Best performing categories in Own Label in 2019 compared to 2018 were:

This also means that almost every second Own Label basket contained an Own Label Soft Drink.

Own Label Baskets %


TRDP reviewed the performance of own label products c-stores using our proprietary EPoS system, particularly those baskets containing own label products.

Period: January – May 2018 and January – May 2019.

Store panel: Premier shops, including Premier Express, Booker retail club. Total 1,642 LFL stores

The main own label brands were identified as follows:

  • Omega
  • Spar
  • Barnstormer
  • Best-in
  • Best-one
  • Co-op
  • Country Choice
  • Euro Shopper
  • Happy Shopper
  • Heritage
  • Independent
  • Lifestyle
  • Lynx
  • Farm Fresh
  • Discover the Choice

Measures: basket size and value £, average basket spend £

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