Private Label - Brand Price Gap Shrinking as Economy Recovers, USDA Study Finds

January 10, 2012
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Price differences between private labels and national brands were narrower during the recent recession than they have been in the current recovery period, a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study reports. The study also found that the private label-brand price gap varied by category during these two economic periods.


In The Relationship Between National Brands and Private Label Food Product: Prices, Promotions, Recessions, and Recoveries, USDA Research Economist Richard Volpe finds that the price gap between private label and national brands was narrower during the Great Recession than it is now


Price promotions were common for both private label and national brands during the height of the recession. But the number of private label promotions fell due as the recession ended.


Conducted in the latter part of 2011, the study used pricing and promotion data from 2008 through 2010 from two major supermarket chains in the Western United States.

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