Big Summer Savings with Store Brands

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Big Summer Savings with Store Brands


A new pricing study compares a summer shopping basket of store brands to national brands and finds that consumers can save more than 35 percent off their grocery bill, on average, by opting for the retailer’s brands.

The research, conducted by the Private Label Manufacturers Association, looked at a range of basic food and non-food items that an average family might put on the shopping list for a season of barbecues, picnics and outdoor play.

The study tracked pricing over a six-week period at a conventional supermarket for 30 grocery items. Summertime staples like hot dogs, iced tea mix, American cheese, BBQ sauce and freezer pops were among the food items tracked for the study, while the non-foods included charcoal and charcoal lighter, paper plates, foil and adhesive bandages.

The study results indicate that consumers who choose the retailer’s brand for products on the list rather than the national brand could save, on average, $44.04 off their total market basket – a savings of 35.7 percent. When buying national brands, the total bill came to $123.23 on average over six separate trips, while the same purchases for the retailer’s brands cost $79.19.

For every category, a leading national brand was compared to a similar store brand product and prices were adjusted to account for all known discounts, coupons and promotions available. The survey took place over a six week period in a typical suburban supermarket located in the northeast.

Among individual food items the cost savings ranged as high as 53 percent on hot dog and hamburger buns, 52 percent on salsa and 50 percent on both cola and packaged macaroni and cheese dinners. Savings, on average, for non-foods categories were led by laundry detergent (the store brand version cost 79 percent less), facial tissue (50 percent less), paper towels (34 percent) and aluminum foil (33 percent).

Store brands over the past decade have experienced unprecedented growth and consumer acceptance according to industry statistics, gaining 40 percent in supermarket sales alone, PLMA reports. The products today account for nearly one in four grocery products sold.

In a recent survey of consumer’s attitudes toward store brands conducted for PLMA by GfK/Roper, more than half of the respondents described themselves as frequent store brand shoppers, while fully eight out of 10 said that they believe the store brand products they buy are either equal to or better than the national brands.

The Private Label Manufacturers Association represents 3,300 companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of store brand products.

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