Shoppers Buying More Store Brands

New price study by the Private Label Manufacturers Association shows shoppers can save 33% on their grocery bill when they select store brand products.

A new study of comparative prices on a wide range of everyday supermarket purchases shows why more shoppers are passing up national brands and reaching for the retailer’s brand instead, the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) reported.

Over a six week period, the study conducted by PLMA in a supermarket in the Northeast, showed that shoppers on average could save 33.3% off their grocery bill by filling their market baskets with the store brand versions of 40 essential household items and pantry staples.

The research tracked the pricing for typical grocery items at a conventional supermarket. Included in the survey were spring cleaning items like glass cleaner, paper towels and pine oil disinfectant, as well as two dozen pantry staples like corn flakes, pasta sauce and carbonated beverages, and personal necessities like mouthwash and facial tissue.

The study results indicate that consumers who choose the retailer’s brand for products on the list rather than the national brand could save $42.30 (a savings of 33.3%) on average on their total market basket. When buying the national brands the 40-item purchase came to $127.03 on average over six separate trips, while the same purchases for the retailer’s brands cost $84.73.

For every category in the study, a leading national brand product was compared to a similar store brand product and prices were adjusted to account for all known discounts, coupons and promotions available for each of the six shopping visits in the study.

Among individual food items the cost savings ranged as high as 46.8% on carbonated beverages, 45% on ice cream, 43.5% on hot dog buns and 40% on pasta sauce.  Savings in many non-foods categories were even greater, led by aspirin (the store brand version cost 60.6% less on average), pine-oil cleaner (57.3% less), body lotion (53.5% less) and facial tissue (50% less).

Average savings of a full one-third off their regular grocery purchases can help explain why shoppers are choosing the retailer’s brands for roughly one of every four products they buy in the supermarket. Data from The Nielsen Co. shows annual sales of private label products grew by more than $18 billion over the most recent five-year period and unit market share for private label in U.S. supermarkets is now 23.5%.



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