Private Label Buyer

Cookies, Salty Snacks In Top Tier of PL, Survey Shows

May 30, 2012

New research on private label sales by Ft. Lee, N.J.-based Perception Research Services shows that for the first time, cookies and salty snacks have moved into the top tier of regularly purchased private label products.

The two categories join mainstays in paper products, cereals, cleaning products, and canned and frozen vegetables.

The largest gains for private label products came in the soft drink category, with salty snacks, frozen meals, vitamins/medicines and cookies among the other fastest growers.

PRS said that 86 percent of its survey respondents bought private label products on a regular basis, up slightly from 84 percent who responded in November 2010.

Just as importantly, more than half says they felt smart or savvy when they bought private label products (51 percent) with just 3 percent saying they felt embarrassed.

“It used to be that buying private label products was a way to save a little money during the grocery trip,” PRS Executive Vice President Jonathan Asher said in a news release, “with many of these products bought by those in severe economic straits, or just a handful of them bought by many. Now, these products offer both cost savings and product quality across many categories, increasing their penetration and frequency as shoppers feel good about buying them – even if they don’t feel the need to do so for economic reasons.”

In some cases, PRS said, shoppers were willing to go out of their way to buy some private label products. This suggests that with the appropriate level of product innovation, private label products can turn a retail chain into a shopping destination, the company said.

“It seems as if creating product innovations is the key to success,” Asher said, “for retailers to achieve additional growth in those categories that have been met with some resistance, and for national brand manufacturers, who must give shoppers a meaningful reason to pay more for their offerings.

“In the long run, increased innovation will be a winning formula for all.”