Grocery shoppers are not only buying private brands more often but are drawn to them by factors that go beyond the affordable prices and overall value with which they are typically associated.
Those were among the key takeaways from the second installment of FMI – The Food Industry Association’s 2023 Power of Private Brands series, which surveyed shoppers about their private brand habits.
“Although inflationary pressures may have been the catalyst that prompted consumers to try more private brand products over the last few years, shoppers have clearly come to appreciate the quality and value that store brands offer,” said Doug Baker, VP of industry relations.
“The overwhelming majority of shoppers tell us they plan to continue purchasing private brands in the future, even as grocery prices normalize. Shoppers are motivated to purchase store brands because they like the quality and the taste of the products, not just because of the affordability and value that private brands provide.
“This growing trust and loyalty consumers have developed for private brands highlights how these products have really evolved to become an extension of a retailers’ brand and value proposition, which is reflected in the way that private brands are also playing a bigger role in how consumers decide where to shop for food.”
Shoppers are buying private brands more frequently
This year’s analysis reveals an acceleration in private brand buying habits.
Ninety-six percent of grocery shoppers told FMI that they purchase store brands at least occasionally, with 46 percent doing so most or all of the time, and about 60 percent buying them much more or somewhat more in the past year. That’s compared to just 26 percent for national brands.
Overall, 90 percent of shoppers said they were likely to continue purchasing private brands even if inflation or the price of groceries drop, indicating the growing loyalty shoppers have for store brands.
What attracts shoppers to private brands
Price (68 percent) and good value (67 percent) continue to be the top reasons cited by shoppers for buying more private brand items.
However, 65 percent of shoppers mentioned a reason other than price and value that motivate their private brand purchases. Of those, shoppers cited quality, taste and meeting meal solutions needs as some of the factors driving their store brand purchasing decisions.
Of the shoppers who said quality was a reason they bought more private brands, more than half said it was comparable to that of a manufacturer brand.
Grocery shoppers trust private brands
Grocery shoppers told FMI that private brands are just as good as name brands in a number of key areas.
When asked which kind of brand is better, 59 percent of shoppers said that private and name brands were the same at providing detailed product information. Fifty-seven percent said they felt private brands were just as healthy as their manufacturer-brand equivalent, while 63 percent said private brands were just as good for the planet.
Crucially, more than half (52 percent) said private brands were products they trusted as much as a manufacturer brand product.
About the report
The “Power of Private Brands 2023: What’s Ahead for Shoppers and Private Brands” report is based on an exclusive, nationally representative survey of 1,039 U.S. grocery shoppers aged 18 or older.
As the food industry association, FMI works with the industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain. FMI brings together a range of members across the value chain — from retailers that sell to consumers, to producers that supply food and other products, as well as the wide variety of companies providing critical services — to amplify the collective work of the industry.
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