Who will win the battle for the consumer? National brands, with their rich tradition and marketing savvy, or store brands, with their checkered past and street smarts? The latest statistics from the front lines show that private-label sales in supermarkets reached a record 19.7% in unit market share last year. According to Information Resources Inc., private labels grew 0.8% in unit volume and national brands slipped 0.8% in the same period. Supermarket retailers are caught in the middle of ...

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