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‘Store brands are worth a try,’ Consumer Reports study finds

BY Allison Cerra

YONKERS, N.Y. Shoppers shouldn’t overlook store brands if they are looking for quality and ways to save money, according to a new Consumer Reports study.

Consumer Reports’ price study — which appears in the publication’s October issue — evaluated five supermarket chains and compared store- and name-brand prices for 30 everyday items at five chains, collecting a total of 283 price quotes. Consumer Reports found the average savings with store brands was 30%, but shoppers saved as much as 52% on some items.

Consumer Reports said that 84% of Americans purchased store brands in the past year, and 93% of store-brand shoppers said they would keep buying as many store brands after the economy recovers. Nationwide, store brands accounted for almost 1-of-4 products sold in supermarkets and a record $55.5 billion in sales last year.

But while purchasing store brands garnered significant savings, many shoppers are reluctant to purchase them, questioning the quality of store brands. Consumer Reports said 17% of survey respondents believed "name-brand foods are more nutritious," although the study found that the nutrition content in both store- and name-brand products were almost the same.

"The study reaffirms that store brands are worth a try," said Tod Marks, senior projects editor for Consumer Reports. "For a family that spends $100 a week on groceries, the savings could add up to more than $1,500 a year."

 

Click here to read the full article.

 

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Mid-Atlantic region gets its chance to ‘Unwind’

BY Allison Cerra

MEMPHIS, Tenn. A relaxation beverage’s retail distribution is being expanded to select stores in the mid-Atlantic region.

Frontier Beverage will distribute Unwind with the help of its newest partner, The Honickman Organization, to select stores in Virginia; Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Delaware; eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.

Unwind’s recently debuted sleek, 12-oz. lightly carbonated cans contain 40 calories and only 10 g of sugar.

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CardStar extends customized couponing app for iPad

BY Allison Cerra

BOSTON A maker of mobile loyalty card applications launched one of its popular smart phone apps for the Apple iPad.

CardStar’s app is designed to connect merchants, brands and consumers through existing rewards card programs, the company said. Since launching in 2009, CardStar’s app has had 2 million downloads and currently services more than 700,000 active users.

 

CardStar’s customized couponing features:

  • Scissor-free and hassle-free coupon clipping: To select a coupon, drag and drop it onto the corresponding merchant’s digital loyalty card inside of CardStar for iPad. To redeem saved coupons, simply use the loyalty card at checkout, whether it’s the original plastic one or digital version in the CardStar smart phone app (iPhone, Blackberry and Droid);
  • Retailer and manufacturer coupons: CardStar currently partners with numerous retailers and coupon providers, including Zavers, to provide a wide range of saving opportunities;
  • Personalization: CardStar helps avoid information overload by only sending coupons for retailers saved in a user’s CardStar card catalog;
  • Filtering: Users easily can see coupons they’ve selected previously or search for those from specific brands; and
  • Social sharing: Coupons can be e-mailed to friends and family through the app, and users also can automatically check-in through Foursquare at checkout.

 

"Coupons and rewards programs have been around for decades, but they haven’t adapted to today’s ever-evolving economy nor met consumer demand for digital content. The CardStar iPad app is an extension of the mobile wallet and offers consumers another touch point to connect with merchants and brands," said Andy Miller, CardStar CEO.

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