Private Brands Continue to Gain Steam

Better quality and lower prices are driving private label sales. 

How much less expensive does a private label product have to be to get consumers to pick it over the national brand equivalent?

According to a new survey by Grocery Headquarters, the difference is not that much any more. In fact, many shoppers interviewed for the study said that the days of radically reduced price points being the main factor in getting them to choose private label brands are long over.

The survey, conducted in late-August and early-September in the Northeast and Rocky Mountain states, found that more than 60 percent of shoppers are as at ease purchasing private label products as they are national brands. In fact, more than 50 percent of shoppers said they now consider private label products in many food categories equal in quality to national brands and purchase those items simply because they like them more, rather than because they are less expensive.

Many of these shoppers say that private label prices do not have to be much lower than national brands to get them to purchase them. In fact, as quality and packaging improves on the private label end, more consumers seem willing to consider private label as simply another choice amongst national brands. More than half noted that they see little or no difference in the packaging of the private label item from national brands. “The only difference I see is the lower prices most of the time,” said one shopper in the Denver area. “But the quality of the product and the look of the product seem to be about the same.”

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