from Martin Williams, MD, Landmark Wholesale

Sir; The growing popularity of own label is good news for independents.
According to Datamonitor (The Grocer, January 28, p13), Britain now leads the way in Europe with £39bn being spent on such products last year.
Landmark Wholesale Group members are showing similar growth. Consumers are now beginning to trust own label and we as an industry have worked hard with specialist suppliers to engender this trust through quality and value. However, I do believe we have to make sure the balances are right.
Brand owners make massive investments in innovation and marketing support. For us all to continuously and blatantly plagiarise brands is a risky strategy as surely big brands will start to evaluate the investment they make and consider other parts of the world better value.
Clearly there is a place for own label and with it a key point of difference. We just need to make sure we also have top quality branded products.