New evidence that the market for own label products has peaked in the UK emerged at this week's PLMA show. ACNielsen research revealed own label's share of the UK market fell back from 42% to 41% by volume between 2000 and 2001. In the same period, own label's value share of the market fell from 40.4% to 39%. The research also shows that 56% of categories are classed by ACNielsen as declining last year ­ slightly more than in 2000. The market researcher classes a category as in decline when its share slips by more than 0.2% in value terms. ACNielsen's data has been collated for a yearbook to be published later this month by the PLMA ­ the Private Label Manufacturers' Association. However, the yearbook will also confirm that despite this peak in demand, the UK remains as Europe's most important own label market. And own label products are now present in 658 different grocery categories in the UK. The next important market in terms of volume and value share is Belgium, which enjoyed marginal growth last year. Of the seven markets surveyed, Germany and Spain were the most dynamic with explosive year-on-year growth. ACNielsen's research also shows the outlook for own label suppliers is bright ­ with the overall market in Europe continuing to grow last year. FFB chief executive David McNair said own label growth may have flattened out in the UK, but other markets were keeping close tabs on trends in British retailing: "Newer developments such as the rise of premium own label ranges and retailer sub-brands mean there is strong demand for the expertise of UK suppliers." {{NEWS }}