Holiday Shoppers Save 33% with Private Brands

With the peak gift-buying season just around the corner, grocery shoppers might be especially thankful to find a way to sock away sure savings when stocking up on the essentials for their holiday feast. A timely survey looked at supermarket prices on 40 typical Thanksgiving list items and found that smart consumers could save nearly 33% if they opted for store brands products instead of the national brands.

The research, conducted by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA), assembled a market basket that included items such as stuffing mix and cranberry sauce, canned corn and green beans, refrigerated crescent rolls, turkey gravy, baking shells, whipped cream, pancake mix and real maple syrup, as well as more basic needs like sandwich bread, butter, soda crackers and breakfast cereal. Non-foods that made the list included aluminum foil, a meat thermometer, paper towels and napkins, antacid tablets and pink bismuth stomach remedy.

The study found that consumers would save $45.13 on average by purchasing the private label products, for a total market basket savings of 32.8%. Consumers would spend $92.31 when buying store brands, because the same market basket composed entirely of national brand products would run up a grocery bill totaling $137.44.

Typical Store Brand vs. National Brand Market Basket Comparison

National Brand
Store Brand
Unit Price
Unit Price
American Cheese Singles 16pk
Canned Corn
Canned Green Beans
Cranberry Sauce
Refrigerated Dough (Crescent Rolls)
Dry Cat Food
Dry Dog Food
Grape Jelly
Hot Cocoa Mix (10 pk)
Ice Cream
Macaroni & Cheese
Real Maple Syrup
Oatmeal Packets (4)
Orange Juice (59 oz)
Peanut Butter
Pancake Mix
Pasta Sauce
Pie Crust
Soda Crackers
Sandwich Bread
Soda (12pk/can)
Stuffing Mix
Turkey Gravy
Whipped Cream
Aluminum Foil
Antacid Tablets
Adhesive Bandages
Facial Tissue
Meat Thermometer
Paper Towels
Pink Bismuth Stomach Remedy

Prices shown reflect 4-week average for the period 10/22/2011 through 11/12/2011.
All prices are net after known discounts, coupons and/or promotions.

In the PLMA study, minimum savings were 25% or greater for 32 of the forty items, while twenty of the forty products surveyed saved consumers a third or more.

Nearly one in four grocery products sold today is the retailer’s brand. Store brands sales growth has outpaced national brands in consecutive sales quarters stretching back to the start of 2008.  In the most recent quarter for which statistics are available, store brands posted overall sales growth of +5.2%, while national brand sales grew a lackluster +0.7%.

Previous articleAnd the Winners Are…The Design Excellence Awards
Next articleWalmart, Great Value & the Healthy Seal – Coming 2012
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.