Millennials Frequently Buy Store Brands

NEW YORK -- Almost nine out of 10 Millennials purchase store brands, according to a consumer study conducted for the New York-based Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA). The research report, entitled The Millennials Are Coming, found that 36 percent of Millennials frequently purchase store brand products and 53 percent of them purchase such products occasionally.

PLMA provided the study findings exclusively to Store Brands, a sister publication of Convenience Store News. The study was commissioned to discover what makes the Millennial generation and its shopping habits, specifically for groceries and store brand products, unique compared to previous generations.

The research revealed that 48 percent of Millennials purchase more store brands than their Baby Boomer parents do, and Millennials as a group are not loyal to national brands. When a national brand is not available on the shelf, 41 percent of Millennials opt for the store brand and 35 percent pick a different national brand. These findings indicate that more than three-quarters of Millennials are willing to switch to a different brand on the spot.

To try and persuade the 35 percent of Millennials who reach for a different national brand to try the store brand instead, PLMA President Brian Sharoff recommends that retailers create a strong store brand promotional campaign that includes signage, as well as buy-one, get-one deals and other trial offers. Millennials are still new to the shopping experience, so these time-honored techniques could be very effective with this group, he noted.

When asked why they opt for store brands instead of national brands, 71 percent of Millennials cited "value for the money" as the main reason. The ease Millennials have with switching to the store brands could likely be due to the fact that Millennials, in general, often think very highly of private label products. For example, more than six in 10 agree that private label products are as good as, if not better than, national brands both when it comes to performance and taste. For frequent purchasers of store brand products, this number increases to eight in 10.

For retailers, perhaps one of the most interesting findings from the PLMA study is that 56 percent of all Millennials indicate that when choosing a particular grocery product, the availability of a store brand is important to them, and 31 percent say when visiting a store, it's important that the store provides a good selection of store brand products. These numbers are even higher in frequent purchasers of private label products — 70 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

The Millennials Are Coming study was conducted by Surveylab, an online opinion consultant. To request a free copy of the PLMA report, email [email protected].

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