CPG Shoppers Not Ready to Abandon Store Brands

June 25, 2012

acosta-attitudes-to-store-brands-june2012.pngAlthough adoption of store brands has slowed, the switch many CPG shoppers made from national brands over the last few years has stuck, according to [download page] findings from an Acosta report released in June 2012. Roughly 3 times as many shoppers plan to stick with store brands as plan to buy more national brands when their budgets increase – a finding that notably holds true across the income spectrum. Those in the middle-income range of $45-74.9k are most likely to stay with store brands, at 37%, followed by the wealthiest consumers (earning more than $100k – 33%). By contrast, just 7% and 19%, respectively, plan to buy more national brands. Those most eager to return to national and premium brands are the upper-middle-income consumers making $75k-99.9k, only 29% of whom plans to stick with store brands.

One reason that consumers may be sticking to store brands is that they find them on par with, or even better than, national brands in some key qualities. According to May 2012 survey results from Ipsos, 7 in 10 US respondents said that store brands were either better than or about the same as national brands for offering high-quality products. Similarly, most respondents said that store brands were on equal or better footing when it comes to offering products they trust (78%) and offering innovative products (67%).

Cross-Promotions Resonate With Shoppers

Data from Acosta’s Spring 2012 “The Why? Behind The Buy” indicates that nearly three-quarters of shoppers take advantage of cross-promotions. The most popular among these are buy-one-get-one-free deals (88%), while a significant proportion (70%) have taken advantage of buy-more-than-one pricing (i.e. 2 for $5).

Beyond these deals, consumers appear influenced by cross-promotions in a variety of product categories. Thinking about products promoted together at a discount, 41% said they were likely to buy such deals for household cleaning products. Roughly one-third said the same about spring cleaning items, family meals, and hair and body care deals. Also included in the top 12 categories for cross-promotions were cold and flu items and back-to-school items. Only holiday meals (30%) and fast and easy entertaining (22%) categories indicate any kind of leisure.

Consumers Plan Trips, Digitally

Further data from the report reveals that shoppers are visiting different websites to help them plan their grocery shopping trips, although there is a clear hierarchy in preference. Grocery store websites (54%) and couponing websites (53%) are the most commonly-indicated helpful sites, ahead of manufacturer websites (33%) and cooking websites (25%). Just 12% could say the same about local review websites.

According to a MaxPoint Interactive study released in May 2012, 9 in 10 shoppers regularly research products online before purchasing them in the store.

Other Findings:

  • According to the Acosta report, despite divergent shopping behaviors, shoppers with annual incomes of less than $45,000 and shoppers with annual incomes over $100,000 are making purchasing decisions based on similar factors, including price.
  • The average monthly grocery budget has increased 11% to $309, reflecting higher unit prices. Shoppers spend 3 times more on groceries than on eating out.
  • 84% of shoppers buy what they have bought before.

About the Data: AMG Strategic Advisors, the growth-strategy unit of Acosta, fielded the survey in February 2012 with a random sample of 1,098 shoppers via Acosta’s proprietary online survey methodology.

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