3 marketing buzzwords that jack up the price of your store-brand groceries


How much will buying the store brand at the grocery store really save you? The answer might surprise you…

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New price comparison chart is a real eye-opener

Store Brands magazine is a publication dedicated to extolling the virtues of store brands. So it was a real surprise when the magazine featured a guest columnist in its October 2016 issue who had a very contrarian opinion about private label brands.

3 marketing buzzwords that jack up the price of your store-brand groceries

Ryne Misso of Market Track wrote a piece titled ‘Are private labels differentiating on product quality, not price?’ His article flew in the face of conventional wisdom that says it’s always somewhere in the neighborhood of 30% cheaper to buy the store brand vs. the national brand at the grocery store.

The chart Misso shared from Market Track research and the accompanying article paint a completely different picture—one in which private labels are no longer concerned with being cheaper than national brands, but rather in matching them in terms of quality.

Market Track did a study of circular promotions run by more than 50 U.S. grocers, drugstores and mass merchants between January and September this year. The study monitored average promotional prices on 25 common food items.

The end result? If you filled your cart with the 25 items in this chart, you’d pay $104.51 for the national brands and $102.72 for the private labels. And that’s before any possible coupons you might use on the national brands, which could lower your overall bill substantially!

So what’s going on here? Misso suggests retailers have switched strategy when it comes to promoting store brands. They’re trying to emphasize quality over value.

You need to know that retailers may drive up the prices of store brand items if they’re marketed as any of the following:

  • ‘healthy eating’
  • ‘organic’ 
  • ‘natural’

Products with that language accompanying them in the sales circular saw a 30% year-over-year price increase versus 2015, according to Market Track research.

Does this mean you shouldn’t buy private labels at the grocery store? No! It simply means you shouldn’t buy them by rote.

Always check the price to be sure it is in fact cheaper than the national brand. Be sure to check unit price if you’re comparing similar products that are of a different size. That’s how you make an informed buying decision.

It’s your money and your wallet. Protect it!

Read more: 4 kitchen apps that will lower your food costs

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