Whole Foods Market has topped a large consumer survey assessing loyalty to stores based on the merits of their private label ranges.
Asked whether they were more or less likely to shop at certain retailers because of their store brands, 60% of 3,191 Americans quizzed by consultancy Consumer Edge Insight over the summer said they were more likely to visit Whole Foods as a result of its store brands (365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market), followed by Costco (Kirkland Signature), with 57%.
At the bottom end of the scale were A&P and Ahold with just 29% agreeing they were more likely to shop at their stores because of their private label ranges.
Overall, the retailer with the highest average satisfaction among buyers of its store brands was Costco, with 63% of store brand buyers saying they were “very satisfied” with their private label purchases, followed by Publix at 60%.
At the bottom end of the scale were Supervalu, A&P and Albertson’s with just 34% saying they were “very satisfied” with private label purchases from these retailers.
While most retailers have high trial rates for store brands, HEB and Kroger were the best at converting triers to regular buyers.
HEB and Kroger the best at converting triers to regular buyers
Overall, the survey results suggest that consumer perceptions of store brands are continuing to improve as retailers move beyond cheap me-too products and start to develop more sophisticated offerings, said Consumer Edge Insight president David Decker.
However, perceptions of quality still vary considerably across different categories and retailers.
The 10 top categories where store brands were perceived as offering comparable quality to national brands were: Non-organic milk (41%), plain bottled water (37%), trash bags (33%), canned veg (32%), pasta (31%), frozen potatoes (31%), bleach (29%), bagged salads (28%), cooking oil, and organic milk (both 27%).
The bottom 10 were: Toothpaste, chocolate candy, deodorant, laundry detergent, bar soap, skincare products, batteries, canned soup, dog food and cosmetics, with just 10-13% agreeing that store brands “offer just as good quality as manufacturer brands”.
While heavy store brand users are more likely to be on low incomes, high income consumers were just as likely as low income consumers to agree with the statement: “It’s foolish to pay more for manufacturer brands if the same quality is available from a store brand.”
Click here for more details about the survey, which was conducted in June 2013.