More than Half of America Is Buying Private Brands.

ICOM a division of Dallas-based Epsilon Targeting release the results of Private Brand research it conducted earlier in the year. It raises more questions that it answers but it is definitely intriguing. It would seem no surprise that the numbers for Chid Care products are low, their penetration is also relatively low in most retailers. However the “23% for pet care products” seems unusually low, of for no other reson than Walmarts Ol’ Roy is mega brand by any standard.

Ol Roy59% of Americans Forsake Pre-Recession Favorite Food and Household Brands, But Only 12% Switch to Store Brands for Child Care Products

Frugal American consumers have jilted their favorite national brands for food, household, health and personal care products but are far more reluctant to switch to store brands on purchases for children and pets, according to the latest research from North American targeted marketing leader ICOM, a division of Dallas-based Epsilon Targeting.

ICOM’s May survey of 1,530 American consumers reveals how the threat of exodus to store brands varies by category. The following data shows the percentage of consumers in each category who have switched to store brands and away from national brands in the past six months:

  • 59% for food and household products;
  • 48% for health products;
  • 48% for personal care products;
  • 23% for pet care products;
  • 12% for child care products.

The less-risk-means-more-switch trend revealed itself as well in the category of over-the-counter medicinal healthcare items. ICOM survey responses show a direct correlation between severity and specificity of ailment and openness to switch. The following data depicts the percentage of consumers in each category who have switched to less expensive store brands and away from national brands in the past six months:

  • 42.2% for general pain relievers;
  • 31.7% for cold and cough medicines;
  • 30.8% for allergy remedies;
  • 21.5% for heartburn medication.

“Perceived risk, that’s what is driving these key consumer decisions. This is the kind of insight that national brands can use to reach customers with promotions that meet their needs and bring them back,” said ICOM Marketing Director Warren Storey. “These results highlight that understanding customer psychology, and tailoring promotions accordingly, is a significantly more effective win-back strategy than scatter-shot, one-size-fits-all offers.”

ICOM’s April and May surveys were sent to 70,000 households nationwide. The 1,827 survey participants in April represent a 2.61% response rate. The 1,530 survey participants in May represent a 2.19% response rate. Epsilon Targeting, the new data division of Epsilon, combines the collective resources of Epsilon Data Services, ICOM and Abacus to form the industry’s largest set of data solutions.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.