PLMA’s Pricing Study Highlights Savings For Store Brands While Winter Drags On

For much of the country, mother nature delivered an extra dose of cold winter misery this season. But at least consumers could take comfort by piling on savings at the supermarket with store brands while waiting for a break in the weather.

A new study of supermarket prices by PLMA reveals shoppers on average could save 38% off their grocery bill by filling their winter shopping cart with the retailer’s store brands instead of their national brand counterparts.

The research, conducted by the Private Label Manufacturers Association, tracked the pricing on 35 typical grocery and household items at a conventional supermarket.  The study results indicate that by choosing the store brand version of the products on the list rather than the national brand, consumers could save $53.75 a week, or 38.4%, on average on their total market basket.

When buying well-known national brands of the products selected, consumers would have spent $139.84 a week. This compares to the $86.09 they would have spent on average per week buying only the retailer’s brands. The survey took place over a four-week period in a northeast supermarket.

The survey looked at products that consumers typically seek out during the cold winter months, including cough and cold products, hot chocolate, soup, instant oatmeal, pancake mix and table syrup, hand sanitizer and tissues, among others. Savings on individual products ranged from 61% for sinus spray to 18% for dry pasta.

For each category in the study, a leading national brand product was compared to a similar store brand product. Prices were adjusted to account for all known in-store promotions and discounts available for each of four shopping visits. The survey was repeated on a weekly basis during the 4-week period from January 18, 2014 through February 8, 2014 in a suburban supermarket located in the northeast.

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