Study: Most Women Compare Private Label to Brand Name Products When Shopping

Denver—While it varies depending upon category or shopper demographics, the upshot is the majority of women shoppers do indeed compare store brands to brand names.

Although 77% of general shoppers compare store brands to brand names, 90% of women compare both regularly. These figures were revealed Thursday in The Checkout, an ongoing shopper behavior study conducted by The Integer Group and M/A/R/C Research.

“Certain categories appear to be immune to the store-brand swap,” said Craig Elston, senior vice president, Integer. “Categories that offer shoppers frequent innovations such as performance or variety, and categories where personal stakes are higher, are more difficult areas for private label products to compete.”

Of note, certain demographics (76% of African American shoppers compared to 69% of shoppers in general, for instance) say laundry detergent is a category in which brand name is very important to them. Health and beauty is also a category where shoppers prefer a brand name to a private label, with 74% of Hispanic shoppers and 65% of general shoppers stating this.

Buying a Brand Name: The Trust Factor

When it comes to quality perception, brand names have maintained a slight advantage over private labels. Trust appears to be the prevailing factor in this case with 51% of shoppers indicating that they continue to buy brand name products over store-brand alternatives because they trust the brand.

With fewer shoppers purchasing private label from two years ago, retailers are working hard to build brand identities and nicer packaging for their private labels which is blurring the perceived lines of quality.

Based upon this survey, shoppers have taken note: there’s a 14% decrease since 2010 in the number of shoppers who think brand-name packaging is more attractive than private-label packaging.

Data for The Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C where consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to drive purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle empty-handed. The Checkout is available for download at Integer’s blog www.shopperculture.com.

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