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Private label pushes for high-end beverages

22 September 2014

Private label drinks products, such as own brand ranges from supermarkets, are known for low prices at the expense of quality. However, more and more private label drinks products can be found in supermarket aisles reserved for ‘premium’ name brands, a new report by Canadean finds. 

According to the report, private label soft drinks are seeing notable success in the Western European premium market, with ready-to-drink iced coffee drinks forecast to grow by 8% in 2014. Michael Wiggins, analyst at Canadean, says: “Ready-to-drink coffees were traditionally considered to be premium and therefore private labels used to struggle to achieve the same sales numbers as branded products. This is largely due to the image that private label products are of lower quality which made it difficult to attract consumers who would be willing to try the drinks.”

Shift to premium to do with pricing

Canadean‘s report further reveals that this trend is caused by retailers realising that the soft drink market can be approached by up-scaled product ranges. Wiggins adds: "The trend towards premium private label drink products has a lot to do with pricing. Consumers expect private label drinks ranges to be lower in quality because of the low price point. However, once the price and packaging of private label ranges are up-scaled, consumers feel that the quality gap between branded and private label products decreases. The appeal of entering the premium market to retailers is undeniable, given the higher profit opportunities these products offer."

Evolving super-premium market

As Canadean reported recently, it will not be too long before first products will be personalised to consumers’ unique needs. This means that there will be a brand new super-premium end to markets which will allow the price of all products to drift upward as the price frame of the market is changing. Wiggins adds: “Over the longer term it will be interesting to see the effects of these trends on private labels. On the one hand this will allow private label producers to gain a larger price advantage, but, on the other hand, it may be harder to achieve that initial push in convincing consumers of the product’s quality.” 

Morrisons Iced Coffee

Morrisons jumped on the trend of private label ready-to-drink coffee products by launching its own 'Morrisons Cappuchino Iced Coffee' in 2013. 


All numbers used in this text are based on Canadean's Quarterly Beverage Tracker, West Europe Q2/2014. All reports are available via The Industry Report Store.

Please get in contact if you have any questions to this or other Canadean reports. Analysts are available to comment. Contact the Canadean press office on +44 (0) 207 936 6713  or email

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