Six-week studylooked at prices at a Northeast supermarket
A new study conducted by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) that tracked prices on a wide range of everyday supermarket items revealed that shoppers on average could save 33.3 percent off their grocery bill by filling their carts and baskets with the store brand versions of 40 essential household items and pantry staples.
The six-week study 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 rather than the national brand could save $42.30 on average on their total market basket—$84.73 for store brands vs. $127.03 for the national brand equivalents. The prices were averaged over six separate trips.
The survey took place in a suburban supermarket located in the Northeast, PLMA said.
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 percent on carbonated beverages, 45 percent on ice cream, 43.5 percent on hot dog buns, and 40 percent on pasta sauce.
Savings in many nonfoods categories were even greater, led by aspirin (the store brand version cost 60.6 percent less on average), pine-oil cleaner (57.3 percent less), body lotion (53.5 percent less) and facial tissue (50 percent 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. show that annual sales of private label products grew by more than $18 billion over the most recent 5-year period and unit market share for private label in U.S. supermarkets is now 23.5 percent.
Founded in 1979, PLMA today represents more than 3,000 companies who are involved in the manufacture and distribution of store brand products. The products supplied by PLMA members include food, beverages, snacks, health and beauty aids, over-the-counter drugs, household cleaners and chemicals, outdoor and leisure products, auto aftercare and general merchandise.