Store Brands Pack Sharp Savings for Back-to-School, New Market Basket Study Shows

Sep 14, 2011, 14:41 ET from Private Label Manufacturers Association

NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With kids back in the classroom and summer fading, a new survey looked at supermarket prices of 40 common back-to-school items and found that shoppers could pocket savings of more than one-third if they purchased store brands products instead of national brands.

The research, conducted by the Private Label Manufacturers Association, looked at a range of products that might make it onto the shopping list for a typical family with school-age children. The study included basic supplies like pencils, pens and notebooks, as well as lunchbox essentials like cold cuts, sandwich bread, fruit cups and granola bars. Pricing for all 40 items was tracked at a conventional supermarket over a four-week period.

The study found that consumers would save $47.52 on average when purchasing private label products, for a total market basket savings of 35.5%. Consumers would spend $86.30 while buying store brands, whereas the same market basket comprised entirely of national brand products would run up a grocery bill totaling $133.82.

In each category, a leading national brand product was compared to a similar store brand product and prices were adjusted to account for all known discounts, coupons and promotions available. The survey was repeated on a weekly basis during the 4-week period from August 13, 2011 through September 3, 2011 in a suburban supermarket located in the northeast.

(Please click on the following link to download the full release and price comparison chart for the market basket study: )

In the PLMA study, twenty-three of the forty products surveyed saved consumers 30% or more on their seasonal shopping needs. One third of the products saved consumers 40% or more, with 8 of these products saving consumers more than 50%.

Some the biggest store brands money-savers were the school supplies, such as 120-page notebooks and glue sticks (77% less than the national brand), pencils (62% savings), adhesive tape (39% savings) and ballpoint pens (29% savings). Food items were also high on the list, including sandwich bread (73% savings), hot dog buns (62% savings), ice cream (53% savings), oatmeal (51% savings) and maple syrup (44% savings). In four instances – fruit gel cups, juice boxes, canned tuna and zipper bags – the study found that the national brands were discounted below the cost of private label products.

Nearly one in four grocery products sold today is the retailer's brand. Over the past decade store brands have experienced unprecedented growth and consumer acceptance, gaining 40% in supermarket sales. According to an analysis of shopper loyalty-card data by Catalina Marketing, the top 100 national brands saw loyalty decline among 46% of their most loyal consumers in the past year alone, exacting a further toll on national brand sales.

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