A look at the top 10 brands of natural cheese shows that private label natural grew by 12.8% in dollar sales and 15.8% in unit sales during the 52 weeks leading up to Sept. 7. Private label shredded cheese jumped 8.5% and 11.4% in dollar and unit sales respectively. These numbers, from Information Resources Inc., represent total U.S. supermarket, drug and mass merchandiser sales, not including Wal-Mart.
While private label cheese sales are up, leading brands from Kraft and Sargento lost a bit of ground during the same period, although none were down by more than 2.6% in the dollar column.
In the novelty aisle, sales were generally strong for the same period with overall dollar sales growing about 5%. But the real stars in novelties are Silhouette brand and Weight Watchers Smart Ones. As fairly new introductions, the numbers may be a bit of an anomaly, but they have grabbed some market share and are doing remarkably well. Obviously, guilt-free indulgence sells. Meanwhile, several other top brands slipped a bit during the period.
Finally, a look at yogurt brands shows stronger growth in brands than in private label, and the strongest growth is in some of the most innovative, value-added products.
Dannon and Yoplait control all of the top brands, and among the fastest-growing brands are Dannon's Danimals and La Crème. Yoplait's regular brand performed well too, while Dannon's Light ‘N' Fit lost some ground.