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    New research shows battle between own label and branded items

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    Own label is now more popular than brands, suggests a new consumer research, saying cost is the top factor followed by quality and availability.

    According to insight revealed by Vypr, one in five Brits say they have recently switched their entire supermarket shop to unbranded products while 52 per cent of shoppers say they have switched in certain categories but not for every single purchase.

    Most popular categories for own label products are dry goods (such as rice and pasta), frozen food and bakery. These are followed by fresh food and fresh produce. The key categories where consumers are actively seeking out brands are confectionary, health and beauty, and electronics.

    Ben Davies, founder of Vypr, said, “It’s clear that own label products are being chosen due to their lower price points and that consumers would be encouraged to trade up to a branded item if it was more affordable or on offer. There appears to be a lack of trust among consumers as some of our research respondents said that brands should spend less money on packaging and adverts and that we’re just paying more for a brand name.

    “It seems that we’re past the shopping heyday where consumers would choose a brand because they had an emotional connection with it or just simply believed it was the best. 43 per cent of respondents said they had no emotional connections at all to brands and 25 per cent had never thought about it.

    “To appeal to a more cynical nation of shoppers, brands should communicate their values, sustainability credentials, and align to offering broader value by doing more for the world around us as well as our wallets.”

    52 per cent of Brits said they wanted to see more affordable prices, but the second most common answer was the call for sustainable packaging from 38 per cent of shoppers. To tempt people into switching to a brand the price either needs to be more affordable to start with (56 per cent) or on a special offer (44 per cent), states the research.

    “The strongest brands according to our consumer research are within confectionary, health and beauty, and electronics. This shows that brands still have a key role to play as those in these categories tend to have strong identities and also a high level of trust between brand and the consumer. For example, much work has been done in recent years to raise awareness of retailers’ own label over the counter medicines such as pain relief and allergy tablets, with independent comparison of  ingredients showing own label to be just as effective as branded products.  It surprises me that this consumer psyche hasn’t yet spread to other branded health products,” Davies added.

    Product exclusives could appear to work well to encourage sales with 65 per cent of Vypr respondents saying they have bought a product because it was exclusive to a retailer. However, the key factor is still cost as well as quality and availability.

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