Own label continues to take a bigger slice of the Spanish and Italian grocery markets, according to the Private Label Manufacturers' Association Yearbook. In Spain, own label sales by volume grew 3.2% last year to account for 20.5% of the market. This was the highest rate of growth in Europe. Value sales grew 2%, taking 14.8% of the market. Italy saw own label grow 1% in volume to take 17.1% of the market. Value grew the same to take a 15.5% share. PLMA president Brian Sharoff said: "The strength of own label in Spain and Italy is remarkable. Only a few years ago, it was not an important part of purchasing behaviour in those countries." The UK continues to lead Europe, with 45.4% volume sales and 43.5% by value, but with little overall growth. In volume terms, Belgium is the second most important market in Europe, with own label taking a 34.7% market share. Germany is third with own label at 33.2%. {{NEWS }}