Australian chain and Countdown’s owner, Woolworths has recently introduced new so-called ‘phantom brands’, private label products without any reference to the supermarket’s brand or logo.

Priced a little higher than supermarket private labels yet perceived as value-for-money, phantom brands have a strategical importance. On the one hand, they attract new customers looking for fair-quality, moderately-priced products; on the other, they give the impression that the store has diversified its offering; lastly, they help retailers achieve a higher penetration within categories where private labels have never worked, such as pet food, health and beauty, haircare and baby products.

Recent market research from Nielsen has estimated that supermarket revenue growth will be mostly driven by private label products, despite a reputation for being substandard quality. Phantom brands sit right in between private and proprietary brands, catering to demand that would otherwise remain unsatisfied.