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Shoppers gobble up private-label food

By Jenni Spinner+

13-Aug-2013

Recent market research shows that 96% of consumers put private-label food products in their cart when grocery shopping.

The study, conducted by Market Force Information, surveyed 6,600 US consumers. Findings indicate a prevailing preference for PL foods in most product types, with dairy products the most frequently purchased category.

Food opportunities

The information indicates that food processing firms and packaging partners can find opportunities in the PL category. Further, while private-label products seem to have captured the hearts of most consumers, there is still a chance to increase wallet share.

The report finds that consumer PL habits are comparable to those from the last study in 2011. The reasons most commonly given for picking up PL products are price and value.

Market opportunities

Other findings:

  • Approximately 83% of respondents indicated they pick up PL products if the quality is better, or if the value is better.
  • About 13% indicated they always buy a PL alternative if one is offered in a particular product category.
  • Only 4% stated they either never purchase PL because they prefer national brands, or that they were unaware of PL products.

“It’s worth noting that in every category we studied, consumers cited price as the primary reason for purchasing private label brands,” said Janet Eden-Harris, chief marketing officer for Market Force. “On the flip side, taste and quality were the top reasons given by consumers for never purchasing private label.”

Additional gains

Eden-Harris added that PL brands can gain even more ground from commercial brands if they meet or exceed value levels.

“If grocery brands can deliver on both price and taste, they have a good chance at grabbing more private label market share,” she said.

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