Frequently, we encounter products that are branded solely under supermarkets or retail stores, known as ‘House Brands’ or ‘Private Label’, coexisting alongside other well-known brand products available in the market. Despite often being overlooked, consumers typically assume these products to be budget-friendly alternatives of lesser quality compared to major renowned brands. However, amidst economic uncertainty, global consumers have increasingly shifted their focus towards pricing and value, prompting a change in perception. According to McKinsey’s 2023 survey on retail trends in Europe, 36% of consumers expressed a growing interest in purchasing ‘Private Labels’ or ‘Store Brands.’ This change was attributed to trial usage and awareness revealing these products to be on par or even superior in quality to other brand products. Additionally, the proportion of Private Label products in Europe grew by 1.9%, with retail market share increasing by 1.4%, illustrating the ongoing growth trend of Private Label products.
In Thailand, the retail sector itself is also exploring ways to enhance their own brand products, much like ‘Tops,’ the food retail business under Central Retail Corporation’s Central Food Retail Company Limited. Tops has identified opportunities and gaps in fulfilling consumer needs by developing the concept of ‘House of Brands’ that surpasses traditional Private Labels. This approach caters to evolving consumer demands across various dimensions. Recent data from NielsenIQ’s Thai Consumer Trend Report indicated that Thai consumers have increasingly opted for Private Label products, rising from 4% in 2021 to 6% in 2022. This shift signifies a perception of quality associated with store-branded products and highlights the preference for premium products that balance quality with affordability.
Enriching the realm of quality products through the House of Brand concept
Mr. Boonchai Pluemsuebkul, Head of Format & House Brands of Central Food Retail under Central Retail, revealed that “Based on past customer satisfaction surveys, one of the brand perceptions associated with Tops is the commitment to product quality that undergoes meticulous selection, similar to the approach of the House of Brands concept. Just like the House of Brands products offered by Tops, customers first think of the quality assurance that goes into products, delivering premium quality across various categories to cater to the needs of each target group. This approach leverages our leadership in offering a diverse range of products, both locally and imported, while also capitalising on the strength of our existing supply chain network. This enables us to control costs while maintaining the standards of raw materials and high-quality production. Moreover, it showcases our expertise in curating and importing exclusive brand products from around the world, ensuring that customers receive nothing but the best. It guarantees exceptional quality at a friendly price, allowing customers to experience the uniqueness of House of Brand products available exclusively at Tops.”
Product diversity: over 10,000 SKUs and a 20% growth target
Tops’ House of Brands not only stands out for its excellent quality but also guarantees diversity and differentiation through an extensive range of local and imported products, totalling over 10,000 SKUs from 13 countries worldwide. This assortment assures customers that they will discover exclusive premium products from global brands that cater precisely to each consumer group’s needs. Tops’ best-selling House of Brands categories include Fresh Food, Cleaning Products, Raw Ingredients and Seasonings, Snacks, and Beverages. These categories align with current Thai consumer trends, emphasising quality and value. As a result, House of Brands products in every category continue to experience continuous growth, with Tops setting a sales growth target of 20% for this year.
Encompassing all consumer lifestyles with Sub-Brand strategies
Presently, Tops’ House of Brands is divided into three categories, comprising more than 250 brands that offer the best products for each consumer group in distinctive formats. The three categories are:
- Private Brand: This group encompasses products under various brand names that are of comparable quality to leading brands in the market but sold at more affordable prices. These products cover a wide array of essential daily necessities, both consumables and non-consumables, available exclusively at Tops.
- Own Brand: This group features products that are meticulously selected for their quality, produced with exceptional care at every stage of manufacturing. This includes products made locally and premium imported products under the brand name “My Choice.” These products are manufactured using state-of-the-art technology and adhere to the highest standards.
- Exclusive Brand: This group consists of premium international brands meticulously selected and curated for Thai consumers. These brands, such as Waitrose and Coles, offer high-quality products sourced directly from various corners of the world, catering to the discerning preferences of Thai consumers.
Raising the flag of Thai brands: exporting to the hearts of consumers in 4 Asian countries
Beyond enhancing domestic growth, Central Food Retail also plans to expand the Thai House of Brands products internationally through modern trade channels. Between 2017-2022, Tops exported over 500 products to 4 countries in the Asian region, including China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Cambodia. This resulted in an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 127%. This achievement demonstrates the global acceptance and standard quality of Thai products compared to imports from other countries.
“Understanding consumers’ desires for value in every spending decision, Tops never ceases to innovate and introduce new retail concepts to provide a unique shopping experience. By leveraging our expertise and the recognition we’ve gained from consumers both locally and internationally, we’re dedicated to developing premium-quality products that are affordable, ultimately fortifying our business and propelling us to be Thailand’s leading food retailer,” Mr. Boonchai concluded.
For more information, visit the website www.tops.co.th, the Facebook page TopsThailand, or LINE Official @TopsThailand.