Return to Blog Page

The Growing Brand Crisis of Private Label

Updated: October 16, 2019
By Brian Edmiston


Iconic brand names are in trouble as new private label competition rises! 

As stated in the Winsight Grocery Business article Private Label Growth Outshines National Brands, “Dollar volume of private label in the mass retail channel grew 41% over the past five years compared to a gain of only 7.4% for national brands, according to a report from the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) based on Nielsen data.”

So what exactly is causing this change in the labeling industry? According to Path To Purchase IQ, the waning of iconic brands is the highest among Millennials. Perhaps the change in generation among consumers has brought about this upset in traditional brand security.

In a new study by Cadence Consulting Group, 54% of millennials said their choice of retailer is influenced by the private labels offered. Moreover, 60% thought that their chosen retailer’s white label products were better than other alternatives. A further study discovered that approximately 50% of millennials were open to buying private-label products in any category, with 48% of respondents saying that they expected to buy more in the next 12 months.


The Millennial generation (those born roughly between 1981-1996) has now maximized its ability to integrate into the workforce with the youngest of Millennials (22 years old) reaching their last years of college education. This means brands need to target this generation in order to maintain a reliable consumer base. For those brands that have been around for generations prior, the techniques and methods used to grab the attention of the Baby Boomers (born in 1946 to 1964) and Gen Xers (born in 1965 to 1976) are failing to reach out to Millennials. 

Business Insider has stated that consumers’ new habits of choosing store brand products over the once reliably sold iconic brand names has even caused the former brand giants to lose their ability to set the standard price for their products. 

E-commerce has taken the forefront in guiding this change within the branding environment with companies like Walgreens and Kroger selling their products on Alibaba to reach consumers in China. The business potential for the small business owner being able to reach out to consumers all over the globe is immense, and this innovation has changed the way entrepreneurs think about their market. Engaging in private labeling has helped manufacturers and upcoming businesses turn this potential into reality.
Not only is private label becoming a method for smaller companies to break out ahead of the branding giants of the past, but there are also alternatives available to manufacturers in their branding method. White label is another method of companies utilizing a branding agency designed to get their products on shelves to compete with household brand names. 


One excellent way to understand the White Label industry and learn how white label and private label can boost business for your company is to get involved with it. White label trade shows are out there, and if you’re reading this article, then you will have at least heard about the White Label World Expo 2020
For those in the U.S. during February 26th & 27th 2020, the Las Vegas Convention Center will be hosting the White Label Expo USA 2020, where hundreds of exhibitors are coming together to offer their knowledge, insights, and products for innovative professionals looking to get their brand outselling iconic brands of the past. 

No one knows what other changes will come to the branding world (if they did they would already be billionaires), but it is clear that the current trend indicates the innovations of private label, white label, and e-commerce continue to pummel traditional brands in their competition for consumer loyalty.

 For White Label Expo Las Vegas sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities, please contact the Event Director John Richard on or 702.707.7627 - extension 6004. Register below to secure your Free Ticket and get access to all important information and updates to the show!

For more in-depth information on the private label crisis, check out these articles we used for reference:
Private Labeling: A Growing Crisis - written by Michael Applebaum, published by Path to Purchase IQ
Private Label Hurting Traditional Brands - written by Dennis Green, published by Business Insider
Private Label Growth Outshines National Brands - written by WGB staff, published by Winsight Grocery Business