NEW YORK — Cooking oil, flour, butter, cheese and other commodity-type categories are most susceptible to losing share to private label, according to a report by Citigroup Global Markets. These categories experienced the largest private-label share gains for the 12 weeks ending July 12. Overall, private-label food categories had a 21.5% unit volume share for the 12 weeks in food, drug and mass, up from 20.6% for the 12 weeks ending July 14 in 2007. “We believe that rising food and energy costs will drive consumers to continue to move from branded to private label,” the report states. “As consumers become increasingly strapped, we believe that a trade down to private label is an attractive option for consumers looking to save money.” But as consumers increasingly trade down from restaurants to supermarkets, many national brands are holding ground in many categories. In fact, private label share is decreasing in such categories as grapefruit juice, gelatin mixes and peanut butter.
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