INCREASING numbers of shoppers are choosing supermarkets’ cheaper own labels, according to new research.
A report by consumer analysts Mintel found the number of own label products launched last year overtook branded goods for the first time.
They also found shoppers believe the “value” ranges have improved in taste and quality.
Historically, the number of new product developments in the food and drinks industry has been higher for big brands than for own labels.
But the balance tipped last year and they now account for 54% of new products, compared to 46% for big brands, the research found.
Researchers said 57% of shoppers think own label products are better than they used to be, while 52% actually prefer them to the traditional brands.
And more than four out of five shoppers think own label products provide value for money, compared to just 16% for brands.
Today, 80% of shoppers said they buy own label products – compared to 89% who buy only branded goods.
Chris Wisson, senior food analyst at Mintel, said: “Times have changed and there is no longer a perception about own label equating to lower quality.
“Our research shows many affluent consumers do not necessarily dismiss own label products out of hand.”
He said that the research suggested “consumers expect to buy more standard and value own label foods while cutting back on brands”.
He added: “While there are signs that pressure on consumer budgets is slightly easing, 2012 looks set to see the majority of adults remaining discerning when shopping.”
Mintel’s research found the market for own label food and drink reached £37 billion in 2011, a 24% increase since 2006.