Private brands experienced dollar sales gains in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA).

Citing data from IRI, PLMA said store brands gained 6.5 percent in dollar sales, while national brands increased 5.2 percent during the same period. 

 Additionally, 15 of 18 tracked departments experienced store brand dollar growth, with only deli cheese, home care and tobacco declining. Deli prepared and bakery enjoyed the largest increases, up 14.9 percent and 12.4 percent, respectively. 

The quarterly numbers were powered in part by the latest monthly performance. In March, store brand dollar sales were ahead 8.3 percent, compared to the same quarter a year ago. That’s nearly double the national brand improvement of 4.5 percent. 

“This is the third consecutive monthly report that indicates dollar gains for private brands,” said PLMA President Peggy Davies. “What’s more, it follows the positive performances of the last five months of 2021.” 

In January, private brand dollar sales grew 4.9 percent, ahead of national brands at 4.8 percent. In February, sales were up 6.5 percent, while brands added 6.3 percent. 

For the first quarter, dollar share for store brands in all major channels came in at 18.2 percent, an increase over 17.7 percent last year. Unit share was 20.2 percent, compared to 19.6 percent in 2021. 

While unit sales continued to decline for both national and store brands in March and for the quarter, store brands fared better than national brands. In March, national brands recorded a 4.1 percent unit decrease while private brands were off 1.4 percent. For the first quarter, national brands had a 3.4 percent decline while private brands dipped 3 percent. 

Monthly sales results are available for members at through the IRI Unify section. Information is available on 317 categories and 967 subcategories as well as from 18 departments.