Small Brands Grow, Large Brands Lag


I’ve noticed this trend for a while among my own circle of friends and the products and brands they are consuming.  For example, I see more craft beers vs. Budweiser, more Fage yogurt vs. Dannon, more sparkling water vs. Coke, more Shake Shack vs. McDonald’s, more Nars vs. Lauder, more Fiats vs. Chevrolets and the list goes on and on.  But because none of these smaller brands individually built large share, it was hard to say that they were killing the big brands.  However, all the “small brands” together are definitely eroding big brand share.  So it was interesting to run across Ryan Caldbeck’s trend article in Forbes.  His research is spot on with great stats and insights on the growth of smaller brands. 

Growth of smaller brands: The “Personalization” of the Consumer is accelerating, as consumers increasingly opt for small brands.

Consumers today demand gluten free foods, natural skincare, and freeze dried, human grade pet food.  Essentially consumers, more than any point in history, are expressing their individual, unique needs and are voting with their wallet. As the demand for products that meet more unique needs increases, those companies that are able to provide innovative products will win. What we’re seeing is that small brands are capitalizing and large, public brands are lagging behind. Want data? Large brands lost share to small brands in 42 of the top 54 most relevant food categories in the last five years, according to a report by investment banking firm Jefferies aptly titled, “Food: The Curse of the Large Brand.”

The link to the full article (including an additional 4 trends) is here.

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