Newly released consumer research by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and its insights provider IRI reveals that food retail private brands have greater influence on where grocery customers shop. Today, 46% of consumers say store brands influence their store choice, versus just 35% three years ago, and private brands are gaining fans across a wider range of demographics and generations as retailers are successfully demonstrating innovation and value. The Power of Private Brands: From the Consumer is the final analysis in a three-part series regarding private brand trends, which all share unique perspectives on the growth potential across categories and channels.

“The solid growth of private brands reflects the success of retailers treating private brands as brands, rather than just following the lead of national and legacy brands,” said Doug Baker, FMI vice president of industry relations. “The proof is in consumer satisfaction—shoppers surveyed shared most that they trust the quality of private brands and believe they get a good value. Still, our research indicates that challenges remain for private brands’ image, such as its packaging.”

While Baker noted that grocery retail growth with their private brands has not been keeping pace with other retail channels, private brands led manufacturer brands in dollar sales growth across multiple retail outlets for the second consecutive year, up 5.4%. The positive momentum is reflected across many private brand categories, geographic regions, consumer generations, and income levels. The catalysts are a range of factors, including increased shopper trips, higher dollars per trip, increased velocity, shoppers adding more items to carts, and expanded distribution.

“Consumers have shown they are willing to embrace new directions in their private brand strategies, which suggests myriad possibilities for retailers as they explore shopper preferences revealed in our research,” said Mark McKeown, client insights principal, IRI.

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