Consumers Want More Than Just Value From Private Brands, Per The Hartman Group

Shelley Balanko, SVP of business development at The Hartman Group, delivered the keynote address at Store Brands' recent Industry Forum on Consumer Trends.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Shelley Balanko
Shelley Balanko, SVP, The Hartman Group

At the April 27 Store Brands Industry Forum on Consumer Trends, Shelley Balanko, SVP of business development at The Hartman Group, presented the keynote address on the changing consumer attitudes towards private label.

The keynote kicked off the event, which was Store Brands’ second industry forum of 2022, preceding topics such as buying fresh, innovative consumables and reaching younger shoppers. Balanko presented The Hartman Group’s research on food and beverage trends, and how retailers can better meet consumer needs with their own brand selections.

“A well executed private brand bestows benefits to a retailer that go far beyond the dollars generated through sales,” said Balanko. “We asked consumers about the very important criteria that they use in determining which store to shop at. We can see that while not at the top of the list, having high quality store brands is certainly not at the bottom of the list. 34% of consumers say that high quality store brands are a very important criteria. At the top of the list we have everyday low prices and convenient locations.”

Balanko added that store brands are no longer positioned by low cost anymore, as they traditionally have been. Contemporary private brands are now judged on six ‘interlocking facets’ which The Hartman Group calls the New Value Paradigm: quality, convenience, price, experience, quantity and relevance.

“Private brands, as well as name brands, aren’t evaluated simply on cost alone,” she said. “The old value paradigm was a fairly simple calculus of a decent quality product giving the greatest quantity for the lowest cost. Our modern value paradigm contains those elements as well as more subjective elements of value. Consumers want to know that a high value product is going to meet their unique tastes.”

The forum can be viewed on-demand here.