In time for summer, shoppers can save 36% with store brands and pocket some cool change

Jun 11, 2012, 14:22 ET from Private Label Manufacturers Association

NEW YORK, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new pricing study compares a summer shopping basket of store brands vs. national brands and finds that consumers could save more than 36% off their grocery bill, on average, by switching to the retailer's brands.

The research is the latest in a series of studies conducted by the Private Label Manufacturers Association. It looked at a range of basic food and non-food items that an average family might put on the shopping list for a season of fun in the sun and other recreation out of doors. The study tracked pricing for 30 grocery items over a four-week period at a conventional supermarket. Summertime staples like hot dogs, American cheese, BBQ sauce and freezer pops were among the food items tracked for the study, while the non-foods included sunscreen, charcoal, aluminum foil and paper plates.

(To download a .pdf of the full release and price comparison chart for the sample market basket, click here).

The study results indicate that consumers who choose the retailer's brand for products on the list rather than the national brand could save, on average, $39.81 off their total market basket – a savings of 36.3%. When buying national brands, the total bill came to $109.70 on average over four separate trips, while the same purchases for the retailer's brands cost $69.89. For every category, a leading national brand was compared to a similar store brand product and prices were adjusted to account for all known discounts, coupons and promotions available. The survey took place over a four week period in a typical suburban supermarket located in the northeast.

Among individual food items the cost savings ranged as high as 62% for hot dog and hamburger buns, 52% for soda pop, 49% for potato chips, and 42% for ice cream. Savings, on average, for non-foods categories were led by aspirin (the store brand version cost a full 68% less), facial tissue (54% less), plastic cups (49% less), anti-itch cream (41% less) and sunscreen (40% less).

Store brands have increased both in sales volume and consumer acceptance according to the latest industry statistics, adding $10.6 billion in supermarket sales alone over the past five years. The products today account for nearly one in four grocery products sold.

While the PLMA study was limited to a single store located in the northeast, Consumer Reports recently concluded – based on a more extensive price survey at five grocery chains – that a family that spends $100 a week on groceries could save $1,500 a year or more by choosing store brands instead of national brands.

The Private Label Manufacturers Association is the industry trade association devoted exclusively to store brands. Founded in 1979, PLMA today represents 3,300 companies who are involved in the manufacture and distribution of store brand products. The products supplied by PLMA members include food, beverages, snacks, health and beauty aids, over-the-counter drugs, household cleaners and chemicals, outdoor and leisure products, auto aftercare and general merchandise.

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Brian Sharoff

SOURCE Private Label Manufacturers Association