Consumers are responding to higher priced goods buy buying more private label items, says a Citibank analyst. The increase in market share is small—private labels occupy less than 12%—but significant enough to note for investors. Are you buying more private labels at the grocery store? [Reuters]


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  1. zentex says:

    I realized not long ago that some things are worth “paying for the name-brand”…but I still buy private label stuff.

  2. evslin says:

    I buy some store brand items, but not because of the price of name brand products. Archer Farms is the only brand I know of that I can get curry-flavored chips through in my area!

  3. Skankingmike says:

    Does nature Promise from Stop and Shop count?

    Other wise no.

  4. defectiveburger says:

    Am I buying more? No. I always bought them and am continuing to do so since it is so much cheaper. Prices are creeping up on private label stuff too though. At the store last night I noticed one product’s price jumped 33% since April. Terrible.

  5. Publix brand sandwich baggies are better than Ziploc and WAY better than Sam’s. Shhhhh. Pass it on.*

    *offer not valid in places not touching Florida, plus TN and SC.

  6. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I’m doing this a little differently. The first thing I did was to pay closer attention to what I bought at what grocery stores. I am also a vegetarian who uses meat substitutes.

    – Pre-prepared “convenience” veggie hot dogs, sausage, lunch meat, hamburgers, and “turkey” are massively expensive, especially when you consider that I usually buy them at Whole Foods. Instead, I found some recipes online, and started making my own. List night I made a vegetarian pepperoni that is almost shockingly realistic.
    – I also make my own soy milk (in a machine) and tofu. If you like tofu, and you have a soy milk maker, it is quick and easy to do.
    – For a vegetarian, Whole Foods offers some great deals. The best leeks in town are always the cheapest there. Boxed soy milk, bulk dry beans and whole grains (other than rice, pintos, and navy beans), and bulk raw sugar are the main things I get there.
    – I belong to a local farm co-op. I have a little less choice in what I get each week, but it is always fresher, cheaper, and tastier than buying the same stuff at the store.
    – The local ethnic groceries are my best kept secret. Their produce is almost always cheaper and better. Daikon radish is a big cash crop around here, for example, and I use a lot of it, but the farm co-op doesn’t have any yet.

    I suppose my best food buying strategy is the same as the old standby stock portfolio advice… Diversify!

  7. Underpants Gnome says:

    What about store brand items that are simply re-branded name-brand items? Kirklands FTW!

  8. petrarch1608 says:

    private label’s? does that mean generic brand’s like Sam’s and Roundy’s?

  9. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I’ve been buying store brand/generic items for years. I just bought a store brand product I hadn’t tried before though and that was to save a little money.

    Now that I think about it, there isn’t much that I’m buying now that I can switch to a store brand version of instead. I suppose I could try generic cereal but I don’t even buy it that often.

  10. Not MORE; I’d already switched to private labels for basically everything grocery (and then switched back on the couple of things that were clearly inferior), and when it comes to clothes, I buy what fits and has reasonable quality, regardless of brand name.

    But I am buying less non-necessary stuff, like chips for Sunday afternoon sports-watching.

  11. amyschiff says:

    Meijer brand groceries are awesome. Most times there is no difference between them and popular brand ones. There is also a Meijer Organics line of groceries if you’re into that. It’s really nice.

    I get mostly store brand items unless there is a sale on a comparable brand name one or I have a coupon that would make the brand name one cheaper.

  12. theblackdog says:

    My parents raised me on buying private label stuff, so it’s just business as usual for me. The few items I do buy that are name brand are items that I don’t have to buy often anyway, so it’s not killing my grocery budget.

    Shur-fine brand at the local co-op supermarket FTW!

  13. tape says:

    I’ve always bought “store brand” or “private label” good whenever then exist, with a very small number of exceptions (the biggest one being Cheerios; for some reason, no one can get fake Cheerios to taste right).

    I’ll continue to do so in the same proportion that I did before, which is to say just about everything.

  14. FLConsumer says:

    No change in the amount of private-label products I buy, but I’ve always bought quite a few of them. There are some items where the private-label products aren’t quite the same as the brand-names, but that’s more of an exception than the rule.

  15. MissPeacock says:

    @tape: I’m the same way, only instead of Cheerios, I will only buy name-brand ketchup. Heinz all the way for me; everything else is just oogy.

  16. belle TL says:

    What’s great about PL these days is that many retailers are really stepping up their game–see Target’s Archer Farms, or Stop & Shop’s simply enjoy brands, as well as a lot of organic store brands–and offering genuinely good alternatives to branded products that are usually a little less (compared to other private label offerings), but taste just as good so you’re not sacrificing quality. And with so many retailers entering the organic playing field, going that route has become much more economical to boot.

    To be completely honest, though, we tend to buy from the perimiter rather than the center of the store (as in 70%-30%) because the fiance cooks most of the food we eat. But oftentimes even with the case of certain products, we’ll go with the store brand (or organic store brand) of produce or meats, depending on what we’re eating. My non-negotiable? Yogurt. I’ve tried the store brand stuff and it’s just not as good.

  17. paperboy6645 says:

    I really like a lot of the Aldi branded stuff.

  18. lusnia says:

    I find myself buying the private label more and more. There are a few things like soda and mustard/ketchup that are better name brand in my opinion. In a lot of cases though I prefer the store brand better on the “raisin bran” granola bars, and some frozen dinners, the quality and taste are better and its sometimes near half the price.

  19. battra92 says:

    I always have bought store brand items for many things. Aldi is great as their store brands are high quality (mostly) and pretty darn cheap.

    For clothing I tend to buy St. John’s Bay (Penny’s private brand) because there are usually good sales on them.

  20. TheNerd says:

    It depends. I have to see if I’m really saving money. If it’s a lower quality, I’ll only have to replace it sooner. For food, it’s sometimes tastier to eat the off-brand product. (I hate name-brand Spaghetti-Os, but the knock-off is great!) On the other hand, some foods are not worth going lower in quality. (I hate the weird hard pieces mixed in my cans of corn.) It really depends, but if you mix-and-match, you can find a good balance of price and quality for your budget.