Caroline Roux
As a Global Food & Drink Analyst, Caroline provides consumer insights and recommendations to dairy companies and tracks global innovation and consumer trends.

Caroline Roux, Global Food & Drinks Analyst, will present at M.A.D.E. – The Private Label Expo, taking place in Paris from 20-21 March 2018. This year’s event will be dedicated to the themes of healthy food and healthy planet. Exhibitors will promote these trends throughout the exhibition via tastings, events, and discussions in the TV studio.

Ahead of her M.A.D.E. presentation, Caroline examines how the premiumisation of private label offers is shining a spotlight on ethical, healthy and environmentally-friendly positionings across Europe.

With fierce competition in the grocery retail market, private label has become a key battleground for consumer loyalty. Retailers face a challenge to drive further growth, while keeping up with evolving shopping demands.

The European private label landscape is the most developed in the world, with the Western European markets, in particular, showing the highest levels of store brand penetration. A highly competitive grocery retail environment in Europe also means retailers have to work very hard to compete in the private label segment to attract shoppers who are both price-conscious, while simultaneously demanding for more quality and added value.

Activity from Western European private labels broadly reflect wider trends in the global food and drink market, where we continue to see a greater focus on ‘healthy lifestyle’ trends. Over the past year, there has been an increase in ethical and environmental positioning, especially with claims related to Fairtrade/UTZ certification and animal welfare in dairy and meat categories. Natural and organic claims are also steadily on the rise, as well as vegetarian and vegan labelling.

Premium private labels are also growing in appeal. Creating differentiation with quality, unique ingredients, sophisticated recipes and flavours are proving successful strategies; one in 10 private label new product launches are now under a premium private label brand, e.g. Carrefour Selection, Lidl Deluxe or Tesco Finest.

Using Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD), we highlight 5 of the most exciting and inspiring products released by private labels in 2017:

Planet Organic, Three Seed Ancient Grain Granola with Quinoa, Teff & Amaranth – UK
: Ancient grains have been planted and harvested in the same way for thousands of years and this gives them a reputation for being more natural and less processed than other grains. Chia, quinoa and teff are just some of the common ancient grains used in breakfast cereals.

El Corte Inglés, Black Garlic – Spain: Black garlic is high in potassium and zinc, which contributes to normal functioning of the nervous and immune system. In the 12 months to August 2017, only 2% of all seasoning launches in Europe were positioned as functional, which suggests a significant untapped opportunity for brands to actively promote the health benefits of spices.

Waitrose, Wood-Fired Antipasti Charcoal Sourdough Pizza – UK: Charcoal pizza is the latest food fad. This version comprises a black, hand stretched, wood-fired pizza base with charcoal topped with Italian tomato and fresh basil sauce, mozzarella, red peppers, Porchetta, Napoli salami, marinated artichokes, semi dried tomatoes and olives. Creating a unique looking product may encourage users to share product details on social media and boost brand awareness.

Shufersal, Premium Basil Spray – Israel: According to the manufacturer, this innovative product preserves the authentic taste of fresh basil leaves, and can be used for cooking as well as for seasoning hot or cold dishes. Four sprays are said to be equivalent to two basil leaves.

Lidl, Chef Select Strawberry and Currant Flavoured Gazpacho – Spain: Sweet and fruit-infused soups have begun to gain traction in Europe and the US. Some products are offering creative fruit-infused twists on traditional gazpachos in portable packaging and drinkable formats. Often served cold in order to encourage consumers to have soups as a snack, they also mitigate the seasonality of hot soups, which are more often consumed in the colder months.

If you’re interested in hearing more from Caroline, she’ll be speaking about the ever-growing segment of ethical consumers and the choices they make to preserve a healthy planet. Catch her on 21st March at 9.30 am at M.A.D.E.’s TV set area.