Private labels have learned a lot about branding (ironic, we know) in the last 30 years. Take a look, for example, at Kroger's private label then, and compare it to Kroger's private label now. Clearly, attention has been paid.
But even in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession—when traditional economic theory would hold that cheaper, generic store goods should have been able to grab grocery shopper share from expensive brands—the success of private label foods has been somewhat mixed. Some private line categories even saw sales decline in the midst of the economic downturn.