Chefs & Pharmacists Prefer Private Brand


In the new academic study “Do Pharmacists Buy Bayer? Informed Shoppers and the Brand Premium” economists Bart J. Bronnenberg, CentER and Tilburg; Jean-Pierre Dubé, Chicago Booth and NBER; Matthew Gentzkow, Chicago Booth and NBER and Jesse M. Shapiro, Chicago Booth and NBER look at informed shoppers and their brand buying habits.

According to the team pharmacists and doctors are more likely than the average consumer to buy private brand medicine. And chefs are more likely than the average consumer to buy private brand food.CHef chart

The paper’s conclusion states their findings very clearly

“Across a range of products we find strong evidence that more informed shoppers buy more store brands and fewer national brands. In many categories the estimated effects are economically large, a claim that we sharpen by looking at the data through the lens of a stylized model of demand and price setting.

Our study is limited to examining the effects of information only on quantities and prices. If consumers were to become more informed, markets would adjust on other margins as well. In particular, a more informed population of consumers might change the incentive to advertise, or to introduce particular products in the first place. Taking account of these forms of dynamic adjustment, and examining their implications for welfare, is an important priority for future work.”


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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.