Store Brands Gaining Ground On National Brand Strengths

According to a study conducted by Ipsos Marketing, store brands may be starting to improve on several product benefits typically associated with national brands, namely: quality, innovativeness, uniqueness and packaging.

Over the last three years, consumers from around the world were asked to compare store brands to national brands on a host of attributes. A three-year trend analysis indicates the following:

  • Each year since 2009, the majority of global consumers have perceived store brands to be the same as or better than national brands on all attributes.
  • From 2009 to 2010, store brands slipped in all areas, with no indications of improvement in 2011 for value, convenience, meeting needs, being good for the family, and being requested by the family.
  • From 2010 to 2011, store brands gained ground in consumers’ minds in the areas where national brands tended to be strongest: quality, innovativeness, uniqueness and packaging.

Attitudes Towards Store Brands (% of Respondents Say Better or Same As Known Brands)

Attitude About Store Brand

% Saying As Good or Better

Good value for money


Convenient to use


Meets needs


Good for family


Home products work well


Environmentally friendly


Food products taste good




High quality






Appealing packaging


Source: Ipsos, May 2012

And, a Marketing Charts report notes that, according to The NPD Group, the number of US consumers using private label food and beverage products continues its steady growth, with private label’s share of household servings reaching 27% in 2011, representing 50% growth from 18% in 2000 and 2001. Despite this increasing use, though, satisfaction with private label foods is down, having dropped 25% from 32% of respondents in 2009 to 24% in 2011.

Gill Aitchison, President, Ipsos Marketing, Global Shopper & Retail Research, says that  “... while we might have believed that store brands were reaching their peak during the worst of the recession... they are positioning themselves to succeed... in an improving economy as well...”

The report goes on to say that retailers are investing more heavily into the development and merchandising of their store brands. Not only do store brands offer higher margins versus national brands, but store brands also offer the means for differentiating between one retailer and another. Many retailers have launched higher-priced, specialty lines, explaining the increase in quality perceptions and the decrease in value perceptions.

Aitchison concludes that “... Bringing in the voice of the consumer, digging for deeper consumer insights, and leveraging leading-edge marketing techniques will be instrumental... at the critical moment of point of purchase in order to win the ongoing battle against store brands.”

For additional information from Ipsos Marketing, please visit here.

2 comments about "Store Brands Gaining Ground On National Brand Strengths".
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  1. Robert Repas from Machine Design Magazine, May 18, 2012 at 12:46 p.m.

    It's no wonder store brands are gaining. When stores line three shelves at eye level with their proprietary brand, pushing national brands into a tiny, dark-lit corner in a fraction of the space they used to have, the store brands are going to win.

  2. Rob Schmults from Intent Media, May 18, 2012 at 3:48 p.m.

    And the answer to showrooming is... "store brands also offer the means for differentiating between one retailer and another." Even if not store brands, then at least retailers need to work with manufacturers to secure more SMU's.

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