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    Demand for Private Label at All-time High: PLMA Study

    CHICAGO - Consumer affection for private label products in U.S. supermarkets, drug stores, and mass merchandisers is at its highest level ever, according to research underwritten by the Private Label Manufacturers Association.

    CHICAGO - Consumer affection for private label products in U.S. supermarkets, drug stores, and mass merchandisers is at its highest level ever, according to research underwritten by the Private Label Manufacturers Association.

    The survey was conducted for PLMA by market research firm Ipsos MORI. Among the study's findings:

    - Nearly half of all respondents said their regular basket contains up to one-quarter of store brand items. About one in five were even more devoted purchasers: their regular basket is filled half or more with such products. For all consumers, the average amount of private label products purchased was 32 percent.

    - Forty-one percent of shoppers identify themselves as "frequent" buyers of store brands. This is an increase from five years ago, when 36 percent described themselves that way, and a significant change from 15 years ago, when the figure was only 12 percent.

    - Almost 70 percent agreed that private label products are as good, if not better, than their national brand counterparts, up from just over half five years ago.

    The study also reported that consumers at the highest and middle-income levels are more likely to increase their purchases of private label in the upcoming year than those in the lowest income range.

    In addition, the research revealed that the popularity of grocery store brands has lent a halo effect to non-grocery private label products, and offered proof that private label's level of acceptance in the grocery channels making its presence felt in categories and channels outside of the channel.

    Approximately one-fifth of those surveyed reported that they frequently buy private label HBC products, home office products, household products, and home improvement produycts irrespective of the channel of trade in which they are sold.

    Ipsos MORI surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,017 adults who are responsible for their household's main grocery shopping, including food, household cleaning products, personal care, and health and beauty items.

    The full report and survey findings are available at www.plma.com.

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