Take a look at this article from this past week’s Denver Post. It captures the essence of what local newspapers are writing all across the country.
Recession adds spice to store brands
Shoppers are saving a few cents by buying in-house products. Adding it up makes a big difference.
Kendra Jeske joined the ranks of consumers buying store brands recently when she bypassed the Ragu pasta sauce for the Safeway Select brand.
“I’m looking at prices now,” the 28-year-old personal banker said.
Private label products may be one of the few beneficiaries of the economic downturn. Store branded products are an $83 billion-a-year business, accounting for one of every five sales in grocery stores, drug chains and mass merchandisers, according to the Private Label Manufacturers Association.
The price differences may be only a few pennies but can add up to significant savings.
“It’s no secret private-label sales have gone up for everyone,” said David Livingston, supermarket analyst for Wisconsin-based DJL Research. “It’s just a result of consumers trading down in this economy.”
In fact, more than 40 percent of shoppers said they bought the least-expensive brand whether it was brand-name or not in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with 33 percent a year earlier, according to a national survey by Decision Analyst, a Dallas-based research and consulting firm.
“Typically, it’s an identical product, and it makes sense that when consumers need to be a little more frugal that they would go with the private label,” Livingston said.
Among private-label products that have soared in popularity in national stores across Colorado are King Soopers’ more than 10 private-label brands; Whole Foods’ “365 Everyday Value” brand, among others; and Safeway’s 13 in-house brands, including O Organics.