More shoppers say they are buying private label groceries – contagious or not – and it’s not just a matter of price, new research from the FMI-The Food Industry Association has found.
According to a report by the FMI 2022 Power of Private Brands released this week, 40% of consumers have purchased most store brands before COVID-19 launches, and three-quarters of those shoppers aim to continue putting private brands in their cart.
Dollars and cents play a big role for many consumers when it comes to private labels versus national brands. Of the respondents to the FMI study who buy private brands, 63% consider store brands to be good value and 55% buy these brands because they are cheaper.
Although a small fraction of shoppers cite the main reason they choose a store-branded item, a range of other factors – from quality and taste to specific needs, health and wellness and sustainability – increase consumer affinity for private labels and FMIs. Research has revealed.
“While we know that prices and stocks have led consumers to try more private brands, we see that these factors are not the only reason shoppers continue to buy private brand products,” explained Doug Baker, Vice President of Business Relations. In the FMI. “Less than 2% of shoppers say the only reason they buy private brands is because other products are out of stock. When asked about 14 product characteristics, shoppers identify four reasons to choose private-branded products.
Of the surveyed consumers, 42% of those buying more private brands reported that they liked the taste of private label products. And in terms of comparison, shoppers equally rank the importance of taste for private and national brands, both 78%, according to FMI. Sixty-six percent of consumers say that quality is important when choosing a private-branded item, and in fact, over 43% indicated that they buy store brands because of their quality.
Baker noted that “when it comes to taste and quality, shoppers clearly see private brands as an equally good choice for national brands.”
The dining plan suggests scale for some shoppers, as 24% of buyers of more private brands say the products “meet their dining solution needs” and 23% say their ingredients are attractive. Meanwhile, 20% indicated that the private label product suits their health needs. Other consumers push conventional or reproducible packaging (19%) and “good for the planet” (14%) into private-brand options as sustainability factors. Store-branded products that are perceived as “interesting” (20%) or “innovative or unique” (13%) win grocery customers.
“Clearly, shoppers’ interest in private-branded products extends beyond just the price,” Baker said.