They buy what? Private label trends for 2013

While it didn’t come as a surprise to learn nearly all (96%) of shoppers buy private label grocery products today, I have to admit I was taken aback a bit by what a study has revealed are the the top store brand items we consumers are buying most frequently. According to Market Force Information, which conducted the study to uncover today’s most popular private label grocery purchases, dairy products were No. 1. Snacks came in second, followed by cereal and cleaning supplies.

The study also looked at consumer preferences and buying behaviors across specific private label food categories and concluded that while private label products continue to be popular, there is still substantial opportunity for grocery brands to increase wallet share. Looking at my own shopping habits I would have to agree. As a shopper, I buy store brands frequently when I feel they offer the best value, but most importantly when I am confident the product will taste or perform the same as the national brand counterpart.

For this reason, I have never purchased store branded mayo or ketchup.

Of the categories on the above list, I sometimes buy store branded dairy items, but am more apt to purchase regional brands. Snacks….hum, I am pretty picky about the taste of my snacks so other than pretzels, which let’s face it, taste the same no matter whose name is on the label, I can’t say I ever considered store branded snacks. The same holds true for my brand loyalty to cereal. Would I consider a store brand here? I suppose so if I could find one with all the same attributes I currently look for, that being organic, low in sugar, made from ancient grains and a little novel in presentation. Cleaning supplies was also a surprise to see among the top store branded purchases consumers make. Bleach products I can see because I think bleach is always bleach but in terms of say, shower cleaners or glass cleaners, it’s national brands all the way in this household.

If I were being totally honest, however, I would also admit that I purchase my cleaning supplies in one of two places, a warehouse club in which I buy large quantities usually with a coupon and Walmart. Almost never in grocery stores mostly because it usually is a stock up item for me.

So what’s a grocer to do about my shopping preferences? To me, the answer is simple, I am open minded to trying new things as long as the value is clear so why is no one enticing me to do so? Where are the coupons, demos and in-store signage encouraging me to try your store brand?

While store brands have come a long way in terms of quality and value, it seems more merchandising and promotions could go a long way in tempting trial. Wouldn’t you agree?

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