Consumers Continue to Look For Private Brand Solutions

Almost two-thirds of US adults say they are buying more Private Brands to save money, slightly up from February when 63% said they were doing this, according to a Harris poll conducted last month.

Almost half of Americans (48%) say they are brown-bagging lunch, also slightly up from February when 45 percent said they were doing this. Two in five U.S. adults each say they have switched to refillable water bottles instead of purchasing bottles of water (39%) and are going to the hairdresser less often (38%). In February, one-third of Americans (34%) had switched to refillable water bottles to save money. In addition to brown-bagging it, one in five Americans (22%) have stopped purchasing coffee in the morning.

Americans are doing whatever it takes to cut back on spending. For some that means forgoing name brands for Private Brands, for others it means letting their hair get a little longer before having it cut. What happens in the future with these small changes will be worth watching. It could be that once these numbers start going in the other direction, the economy has turned the corner. Or, as some economists are saying, the “New Normal” culture of saving and cutting back will remain after the recovery.

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between June 14 and 21, among 2,227 adults age 18 and over. For more information, visit

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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.