European Private Label brand sales exceeded branded products sales in Europe in 2013, according to Roisin O’Sullivan of Bord Bia’s Madrid office.

She said that in Spain alone, private label products were the most sold of all products in the last year.

O’Sullivan said revenues in value of Private Label products in the five major European markets (UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) surpassed that achieved by national brands in 2013, according to the latest data publicised by Nielsen and gathered by Trace One in the recent PLMA trade show in Amsterdam in May.

Director of International Sales at Nielsen, Paolo Politi, announced at the show that the total value of sales of private label in the five countries grew by 3% in 2013, compared to 1% growth registered by the manufacturer brands. This increase in sales is reflected on the shelves of stores, where there was a 4% increase in the number of private label products.

Overall, the market share of the Private Label stood at 36% of value sales in all five countries. The market share of Private Label increased in all countries except France, where national brands have launched an aggressive promotional activity in an attempt to halt the advance of Private Label.

Private Label brands accounted for the majority of all products sold in two countries: Switzerland (53%) and Spain (51%), and levels of Private Label market share exceeded 40% in four other countries: UK (45%), Germany (42%), Belgium (41%) and Portugal (44%).

Nielsen executives noted that if you look at the new Private Label products launched, many of the retailers are focusing on six segments: Green/ethical, healthy, ‘geo’ (local, regional, ethnic, exotic), children/babies, takeaways and Premium.