Gas Prices Driving Consumers To Buy Private Label Brands

Survey shows 30 percent of consumers are more likely to buy private-label brands at discount stores, such as Target or Walmart, in order to save money.

New York: More consumers are taking steps to compensate for rising gas prices, as nearly 80 percent of consumers say they will alter their purchase behavior; this is according to recent research conducted by TNS, a world leader in market information.

Burdened by strong gas prices and a sluggish economy, consumers are looking at ways to cut their spending, starting with their monthly grocery bill. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed say they are trimming down and removing items from their "typical" grocery list to save money. "Shoppers are careful and watchful of their money and given the overall level of uncertainty about the economy, it's not a surprise to us to see consumers reign in their spending on groceries," says Dan Boehm, senior vice president at TNS.

But, it's not simply a matter of removing items from a given grocery list. Consumers are also paying close attention to what they're buying. According to the survey, nearly one-third of consumers (30 percent) are more likely to purchase private label brands than national brands. "For their money, consumers are increasingly seeing an equal or greater value of purchasing more private-label brands," says Boehm. "This is a great opportunity for marketers to communicate why their brands are superior. They should continue to make being visible in the store a priority."

As they pay more at the pump and consolidate their shopping lists, consumers are making fewer trips and often choosing to shop at discount stores (32 percent) over traditional retail outlets. "Even as gas prices have receded a little from their peak, our research shows consumers are adjusting their grocery shopping patterns to manage a more uncertain conservative purchase environment," says Boehm. "More than ever, grocery retailers need to clearly articulate the value proposition they give their shoppers as shoppers make fewer trips per week, buy less and look for discounts."