ConAgra Foods , Inc. (NYSE:CAG) made a $4.9 billion offer to acquire Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: RAH) on May 4, 2011. As ConAgra stated in a press release about the offer: Ralcorp is a successful manufacturer of both private label and branded consumer foods. The company, which owns the Post cereal brand, is also a leader in a number of private label categories, including cereal, pasta, crackers, jellies/jams, syrups, frozen waffles and other products. Every paragraph of the release focuses on private label (PL). It is here to stay and CAG knows it. Over the past decade or so, the quality of PL consumer products has grown immensely, helped in part through the growth of retailers like Trader Joe’s and ALDI. They have helped nurture many smaller companies in the PL space and demonstrated to consumers that there does not need to be a taste or efficacy compromise with PL. And of course, the savings are real (a recent study by the Private Label Manufacturers Association last month showed that consumers on average can save 33% off their grocery bills by buying all private-label products). With the Great Recession, use of PL has only grown. According to Nielsen data, private-label brands accounted for 17.4% of the total U.S. dollar share of food products in 2010, up from 15.2% in 2006. And it seems as if it is now here to stay for the long term (really, it’s the US catching up to Europe, where PL is more highly developed). A March study by Rabobank concluded that PL foods are set to double their global market share to 50 percent by 2025.
Earlier this year, Silverwood Partners advised a private label leader, On a Roll Sales, Inc, in the company's sale to Greencore Group PLC.