Shoppers Buying Private Brands for More Than Just Price

FMI report details shoppers' growing loyalty for store brands
Emily Crowe
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U.S. grocery shoppers are increasingly reaching for private brand products for more than just their budget-friendly prices.

It should come as no surprise that grocery shoppers are buying private brand products more often than ever before, but the motivators behind those purchases are changing. The second installment of the 2023 Power of Private Brands series from FMI – The Food Industry Association further details today’s private brand shopping habits, and points to why consumers are increasingly drawn to such products.

FMI found that 96% of grocery shoppers purchase store brands at least occasionally and 46% purchase private brands most or all of the time. Meanwhile, about 60% of shoppers are buying private brands much more or somewhat more in the past year, compared to just 26% for national brands.

Interestingly, 90% of shoppers say they are likely to continue purchasing private brands regardless of inflation or grocery price changes, indicating the growing loyalty shoppers have for store brands. Some 68% of shoppers still cite price as their top reason for buying private brand items, while 67% cite good value.

However, 65% of shoppers mentioned a reason other than price and value that motivate their private brand purchases. Of the 65% of shoppers who cited reasons other than price for their motivation behind choosing private label items, 30% cited quality, 26% cited taste and 16% said the items help them meet meal solutions needs.

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 FMI VP of Industry Relations Doug Baker. “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,” added Baker. “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.”

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Overall, shoppers are continuing to see private brand products in a new light. Some 52% of respondents said they trust private brands as much as manufacturer brand products, with 59% saying private and name brands were the same at providing detailed product information; 57% saying private brands were as healthy as their manufacturer-brand equivalent; and 63% saying private brands are as good for the planet as the national brand. 

FMI’s research was based on a nationally representative survey of 1,039 U.S. grocery shoppers aged 18 or older.

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