While it’s premature to say organic is at its peak, the days of private label’s 25% growth may be on the wane, according to Tom Pirovano, Nielsen’s director of industry insights. “I predict that in 2009, organic growth will be under 10%,” he said.

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Meanwhile, overall private-label sales are on the fast track. Private-label dollar sales grew $7.4 billion to $80.3 billion in food, drug and mass (including Wal-Mart) for the 52 weeks ending Aug. 9. For the same period, private-label dollar share of store was up 0.9 points to 16.2%. While recent private-label dollar growth has been driven more by pricing than by unit volume, that trend started to change over the summer. Unit sales grew 3% in food, drug, and mass (excluding Wal-Mart) for the 28 weeks ending Sept. 6.