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Private-label purchases continue to see growth

FORT LEE, N.J. — A vast majority of shoppers continue to purchase some private-label products on a regular basis, according to research from Perception Research Services.

Among roughly 600 primary household grocery shoppers ages 18 to 64 years polled, PRS found that 86% continue to purchase private-label items on a regular basis (compared with 84% in 2010), while 38% have purchased more private-label products than they did in 2010 (32%) and across additional categories. More than half (51%) said they feel smart/savvy when they buy private-label products.

The largest gains in private-label penetration among those surveyed included soft drinks (carbonated and noncarbonated), salty snacks, frozen meals, vitamins/medicines and cookies. Despite these gains, roughly one-third of respondents said they would not buy private-label versions of personal products, vitamins/medicines and frozen meals.

"It used to be that buying private-label products was a way to save a little money during the grocery trip — with many of these products bought by those in severe economic straits, or just a handful of them bought by many," PRS EVP Jonathan Asher said. "Now, these products offer both cost savings and product quality across many categories, increasing their penetration and frequency as shoppers feel good about buying them — even if they don't feel the need to do so for economic reasons. It seems as if creating product innovations is the key to success — for retailers to achieve additional growth in those categories that have been met with some resistance, and for national brand manufacturers, who must give shoppers a meaningful reason to pay more for their offerings. In the long run, increased innovation will be a winning formula for all."

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