Coles', Woolworths' private-label sales in Australia have risen 30%, 20%, respectively, over past five years; in 2011, 23% of Coles' sales came from private-label products, versus 18% at Woolworths: Nielsen

LOS ANGELES , April 10, 2012 () – Market researcher Nielsen Co. said that private-label sales accounted for 23% of Coles Supermarkets’ total sales in 2011, The Australian reported April 10.

During that same time period, private-label sales at Woolworths accounted for 18% of total sales, Neilsen added. The figures included packaged fresh produce sales, but not bakery goods and meat, as these types of items are not generally considered private-label products.

Spokespersons for both Coles and Woolworths disputed Nielsen’s analysis, and said that Nielsen’s figures did not match up with their own internal data.

Gordon Duncan, head of private label at Woolworths, added that the company classifies private-label products differently from Nielsen, and does not consider bags of fruit to be private-label products. Three of Woolworth's in-house brands—Home Brand, Macro and Woolworths Select—account for roughly 10% of the company’s total sales, he added.

Over the past five years, Coles’ and Woolworths’ private-label sales have risen approximately 30% and 20%, respectively.

Duncan confirms that Coles has surpassed Woolworths in terms of private-label sales.

According to a forecast by Nielsen, private-label sales’ percentage of the total market could increase to 40% during the next five years. Currently, one of every three products in an Australian consumer’s shopping basking is a private-label product. By value, private-label products account for 25% of packaged grocery sales, Neilsen added.

Nielsen’s analyses demonstrate that Coles and Woolworths have not managed to increase their overall grocery market share over the past 10 years. Woolworth’s increase in market share came at Coles’ expense.

The primary source of this article is The Australian, Sydney, Australia, on April 10, 2012.

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