Cheddar brands fighting back

Published 22 December 15

The volume of cheddar sold under brands has increased by 5% over the last 12 months, according to Kantar, with standard supermarket own label sales losing out.

Up until the start of 2013, the split of cheese sales was fairly stable between brand (45%), standard own label (35%) and value own label (20%). The supermarkets then went on a push for their own label offerings, at the expense of branded sales. By the end of October 2014, brand sales made up 36% of total retail cheddar sales, with standard label up to 40% and value label at 24%. At that time, consumers were paying, on average, an extra £0.83 per kg for branded cheddar compared with standard supermarket label.

For the latest 52 weeks ending October 2015, branded sale volumes have started to recover (up 5%), taking share back from standard supermarket label (down 7%). However, this appears to have been achieved through reduced prices. The brand premium over standard supermarket label has halved to just £0.39 per kg.

Despite the loss in standard label sales, the growth of the discounters means supermarkets’ value ranges have continued to grow, rising 10% in the last year. Value label cheddar is, on average, £1.80 per kg cheaper than branded cheddar.

To put the price differentials into context. If every consumer in the UK had purchased branded cheddar instead of supermarket own-label cheddar over the last 12 months, it would have generated an additional £140m. That is equivalent to 1ppl on every litre of milk produced in the UK.

Cheddar brands fighting back