Shoppers turn to generic brands as budgets get tighter

People are turning away from well known brands and buying generic labels as budgets tighten.
People are turning away from well known brands and buying generic labels as budgets tighten. Allan Reinikka

NO-NAME brands are taking over supermarket shelves as shoppers vote with tighter wallets.

In a survey of almost 12,000 Australians, shoppers revealed that 60% were just as happy buying generic brand products as big labels.

But three quarters said they would buy premium brands if they weren't so expensive.

Survey author Sarah Connelly said although consumers chose in-house supermarket labels, the trend was born out of necessity rather than preference.

"The difficult economic environment has been a strong driver of private label growth," she said.

Toolooa St's Supa IGA manager Jodie Magyar said this was true for her customers.

"For this store, definitely price," she said. "(People go for) home brand or specials."

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Gladstone mum Amanda Jessop is one of the exceptions, preferring labels which she believes are better quality.

"I would rather pay a bit more and know we will eat it, than pay less and have people go 'we're not eating that'," she said.

Convenience is also a factor.

Supermarket companies are pushing to be allowed to sell alcohol in Queensland as liquor licensing reforms are introduced into parliament this week.

The change would be a welcome relief to Mrs Jessop.

"Everywhere I've lived you can buy it in the supermarkets. Queensland is a bit slow," she said.

"It saves you from going anywhere else."

But Ms Magyar said it could pose some difficulties for her Supa IGA business.

"We're a supermarket, not a bottle-o," she said.

"It will definitely increase sales, but on the other side of it we'll have people trying to buy under the age of 18."

"When you're a supermarket you have a lot of junior young staff on the checkout."

Do you buy no-name brand products?

This poll ended on 19 March 2014.

All the time - 42%

Sometimes - 39%

Not if I can help it - 13%

Never - 5%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  gladstone groceries retail shopping smarter shopping supermarkets

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