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    The Public Loves Private Label

    Be still my heart! Is that a private label brand in your customer’s shopping cart?

    Don’t worry, as a growing number of consumers no longer view private label goods or “no frills” brands as inferior to national brands, but rather as an economical alternative to the brands they purchase every day.

    In fact, new consumer polling data from the New York-based Private Label Manufacturers Association’s ongoing study, “Store Brands and The Recession,” conducted by GfK Custom Research North America, also based in New York, and co-sponsored by MMI (Marketing Management, Inc.), a Fort Worth, Texa-based sales and marketing company that specializes in store brands, revealed some interesting findings:

    Among the findings of the nearly 800 main household grocery shoppers surveyed were:

    --35 percent of shoppers are trying store brand products for the first time in categories where they had previously only purchased national-brand items. Among this group, 94 percent say these store-brand products compare “favorably” to their previous choice

    --91 percent of shoppers in the survey say they believe they are going to continue buying store-brand products even after the recession ends. Only 8 percent of the consumers polled said they intend to stop buying private label

    --The quality of store-brand products is a big factor in persuading shoppers to keep buying them, with nine out of every 10 shoppers agreeing the store brand products they buy are just as good as, or better than, national-brand products

    --Nearly half of all consumers polled say they believe the supermarket where they normally shop should carry more store brands

    --Nearly three-fourths of respondents say the recession is an important factor in their decision-making

    --Compared to one year ago, three in 10 customers say they are now buying more store brand products

    --57 percent say they buy private label “frequently”; earlier this year, the figure was 55 percent. The 2009 results are up substantially from the 41 percent who said they bought private label frequently in a survey conducted just three years ago

    Obviously, consumers aren’t as concerned about what they have in their shopping carts as long as they’re carting home quality goods at reasonable prices.

    - Nielsen Business Media

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