The Private Label Manufacturers Association recently released the results of a survey that indicated that a growing number of consumers are more comfortable with and accepting of private-label merchandise. In fact, 70 percent of respondents agreed that the private-label products they buy are as good as national brands, vs. five years ago when a little more than 50 percent of respondents agreed with the statement. Moreover, the study found that 41 percent of shoppers now identify themselves as frequent buyers of store brands, vs. five years ago when only 36 percent of respondents described themselves as such.
That trend bodes well for the licensing industry. Private-label marketers can use licensing to broaden their consumer reach, especially to kids. While thus far, few private labels have leveraged licensing to reach out to parents and kids, some deals were done in the past year. Among these was Kroger’s partnership with Disney to create Disney Magic Selections, a line of healthy kids’ products that combines Kroger’s Private Selections brand with the Disney brand. For the licensing industry, private label could represent a relatively untapped opportunity.