“Private label is really consolidating its position as the original dupe, just look at the range from Whole Foods. They are out on social media with TixTok videos showing its own brand line as the healthier dupe for a range of very iconic brands, but it's my belief that brands can fight back."
Gen Z is willing to trade down or up, depending on the circumstance
To better understand Gen Z shoppers, MMR Research sent 700 consumers under the age of 27 a box of product samples to get their thoughts on products that crossed 85 brands and 12 food, beverage, and personal care categories. Additionally, MMR Research used an AI-based chatbot tool to get further insight from consumers on how and what they’d buy, Collier said.
MMR Research found that 60% of US consumers switched brands in the last three months, and 30% of that group switched to private-label brands, she shared. However, 35% of those 60% went the other way and switched to premium bands.
Among the top reasons for switching brands, 38% of consumers cited taste as being number one, which “highlights the importance of the product experience itself,” Collier said. Consumers who were making a switch to premium offerings also demanded these products to “deliver an experience that is more intense,” she said.
Private-label brands are becoming increasingly social media-savvy and engaging Gen Z consumers through TikTok "dupe" videos, which highlight cheaper versions of well-known products, she added. Other retailers like Target are bringing Gen Z consumers into the private-brand development process, Collier noted.
Collier added, “Target, a big box retailer with more than 45 of its own private labels, have actively worked with Gen Z consumers not only to design new brands and craft inclusive exciting shopping experiences, but they also offer enterprising Gen Z a platform through its incubator to test and sell their own product ideas, giving Target direct access to cutting edge product innovation with instant Gen Z appeal.”