The Retailer Becomes the Brand
Whether consumers are looking for the best prices in town, a large variety of products, or the store that delivers the most unique and delicious options at the meat counter, consumers have so many considerations when it comes to grocery shopping. But, no matter what the driving force is behind their supermarket choices, consumers have started to become more and more loyal in their grocery shopping experiences due to individual shopping preferences.
Consumers today express more loyalty to retail stores and store brand products than ever before. In fact, in a survey conducted by Supermarket Guru and ConAgra Foods, 53 percent of consumers said they shop at a particular retailer because it has good store brand products and 44 percent said they purchased more store brands based on tough economic conditions. This appears to extend to the trend, reported by the Private Label Manufacturer Association (PLMA), that among all major U.S. retail channels, private brand sales increased by more than 2.9 percent in 2012 pushing annual revenues up more than $3 billion to more than $108 billion – an all-time record, according to Nielsen.
The growth stems from two areas: rising quality of store brands, and the blurring distinction between store brands and national brands. As product quality has improved, so have the packaging graphics and overall image of store brands. No longer will private brands just emulate national brand products, but more and more consumers will see store brands create new products on their own. In fact, large companies like HYPERLINK "http://bit.ly/172A0p9" ConAgra Foods have partnered with retailers to create unique product lines, such as Spelt Pasta (which uses a grain known for its many health benefits.), as well as gluten-free pastas with quinoa.
Because consumer loyalty will change the supermarket landscape in 2014, many retailers will adjust their offerings according to their current clientele. From store brands to better quality food, only the retailers with the most loyal following will come out on top.
Stay tuned for more of my 2014 food trend predictions on The Lempert Report, and learn more at SupermarketGuru.com