The white label in Spain, strong but stagnant in 39% of total purchases

The white label in Spain, strong but stagnant in 39% of total purchases



The white marks represent 39.5% of the products of the shopping cart in Spain. EUROPE PRESS

They are part of our life. They are present wherever we go. And they have nothing to do with social status. We talk about white brands , as we know them society or distribution (MDD), as the industry calls them. The growth that this segment has had is undeniable. In 2007, the year in which the global economic crisis began, it had a market share in Spain of 26.6% of the total registered sales. A decade later , it is at 39.5% . Yes, it is true that evolution has been three years stagnant over 39%. The white marks have come to stay.

“Behind there are certain chains with an important weight in the market, their future or evolution will depend on how they derive it”, explains to MiBolsillo Alfonso Delgado, director of new business at Nielsen. “Everybody buys distribution brands, before it was associated with consumers with fewer resources, but the crisis has greatly rationalized the purchase, not only the manufacturer or distribution products are purchased, but both are mixed”, he adds.

Not everything has the same success. According to the Nielsen consultancy data, the most demanded distribution products are celluloses (kitchen towels or toilet paper); disposable perfumery and hygiene, such as diapers; frozen vegetables and vegetables; dried fruit, fourth-range vegetables (salads or vegetables in a bag) and grated cheese. The white marks suppose in these areas more than 70% of the sales.


On the other hand there are those that do not end up being accepted by consumers. ” Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages are the least accepted because they have important references, they do not amount to 10% of sales,” explains Alfonso Delgado. To which he adds: “There is a social component, for example, if you invite someone home to a drink, it is not usual for you to get white marks.”

Mercadona is the chain where more white goods are acquired, 43% of the total. Regarding the chains where the largest number of articles is being acquired: Mercadona , with 43.5% of the total; Group Dia (16.2%); Carrefour (7.1%); Eroski (4.8%) and Grupo Auchan (2.3%). The rest is distributed by 14.9%, according to the Kantar WorldPanel data. Spain is one of the countries where this line of commerce has greater acceptance. Only the United Kingdom exceeds it, which at the end of 2016 registered a share of 41.4%. On the other hand, Germany, France and Italy have 35.6%, 25.9% and 18.6%, respectively.

“The manufacturers decided in the years of crisis to make a more basic product to avoid losing sales and promote theirs to reduce that gap.” The big problem is that the promotional activity is not efficient, since 50% of it can not win The goal is to achieve a greater volume of sales , but for the sake of profit they do not win because it is cheaper, the big companies have a better execution “, explains Alfonso Delgado.

Changes introduced

Some changes are also being introduced in the white label. The Nielsen expert explains that the basic lines are being given added value . “Primary needs are covered with something else, for example, calcium or soy is included in normal milk, which means that the price is higher and the cost is higher,” he says.

The distributors are equally destined to a transformation by the type of population, which has greater life expectancy and where there are fewer and fewer births. The supply of food will also tend to adapt to this social phenomenon.

The white label is not incompatible with quality, standards are high One of the main curiosities that the sector arouses is the origin of the products ; that is, who makes them. In some cases these are well-known names. Coinc, the Bankinter savings portal, gives some details. Thus, Celtic Milk is one of the manufacturers of white label dairy products for Lidl, Alcampo and Eroski. The Cuétara Group, on the other hand, produces cookies for Eroski, Makro, Carrefour, Supersol and Dia. Pastas Gallo manufactures for Mercadona and Eroski. Campofrío does it for Ahorramás in the varieties of sausages and mortadella. In beers, the Damm Group provides the white label to Mercadona and Eroski, while that of El Corte Inglés is manufactured by Mahou.

Alfonso Delgado says that the white label is not incompatible with quality. “The standards are high, they respond to what the sector asks for, another thing is the consumer’s perception,” he says. In any case, experts recommend paying attention to the purchase of any type of food or product, regardless of who made it. The best information is detailed on the labels: you have to look especially at the type of fats used, the sugars contained and the calories.

Savings of up to 2,500 euros per year

According to an analysis carried out by the fast personal loan company Monedo, filling the shopping cart with white brands can save between 35% and 45% . In global terms, a year can reach the figure of 2,500 euros only in food products and personal consumption.

66% of the top 100 industries by turnover in Spain produce original brand and white label

In 2014, the UGT union produced a report on distribution brands in which it states that more than 66% of the top 100 industries by turnover in Spain produce original brand and white label.

Another of the remarkable conclusions of the study is that while the average sales of the companies that manufactured MDD were lower , these companies or groups generated more employment .

It is clear that the white label has found its place in the shopping list in view of the evolution that has followed in recent years. But the data also shows acceptance in other areas. According to the Cetelem Observatory of BNP Paribas, 70% of Spaniards who participated in the 2016 study said that they had opted for the manufacturer’s brand when purchasing appliances and IT or technology items . The remaining 30% was from MDD; in 2015 this quota was 23%.

In addition, when respondents were asked about purchase intention for this year, 46.3% said they thought they would demand appliances or white label technology. And as for the profile of the MDD buyer, Cetelem points out that women are the ones that most often buy this type of product . The place chosen are the large specialized areas, department stores and hypermarkets. The price was originally the attractiveness of the white label. Now quality is also valued, and the relationship between both factors measures the success it is currently experiencing.

A line of commerce with 40 years of history

The development of the white marks began in 1975 with what was then called “free product”, as described by the White Brands Blog . The premise of its launch was: “Just as good as the big brands and cheaper (because there are no advertising costs )”.

The first containers were white and quite aseptic, hence the name. In terms of products, they began to introduce foods of frequent purchase: milk, pasta, rice, legumes, biscuits … And followed with other household items, both cleaning and body hygiene. Today the range is wider.

The white or distribution brand has mostly physical presence in large areas. But the Internet is making inroads in this segment . Amazon is selling clothing, shoes, cleaning products and brand-name food. This year, for example, it has launched the Wickedly Prime line, which includes snacks and snacks.