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01/13/2021

Hartman Group: Private label is here to stay

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
Dan Ochwat profile picture

Analysts at The Hartman Group studied impacts of pandemic shopping on private label, finding that while customers indeed tried some private brands for the first time due to out of stocks and to save money, consumers expect to continue buying store brands.

Survey results from the analysts found that 22% of shoppers now rely more on private label than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, and 52% of those consumers expect to continue buying private brands even when the coronavirus subsides. The insights were published in The Hartman Group’s "Food Sourcing in America July/August 2020" report. The firm also shared them in a newsletter article on the impact of private brands.

The analysis further finds that consumers who buy private brands cross income levels, as all are looking to be thriftier during a shaky economy. However, among demographics, Millennials, Gen X consumers, families with children, Hispanics and African American shoppers rely more on private label.

The Hartman Group explored what makes private brands work, too, saying the ones with the most unique identity can play a true differentiator role for retailers.

The article listed key properties consumers look for in a store brand such as simpler ingredients, raw ingredients and minimally processed foods. They also said private brands are continuing to gain brand trust among its users similar to the way well-known brands have gained and leveraged trust and that bodes well for a bright future for private label. 

The Hartman Group study is available here