More consumers picking retailers based on their private brands

Fresh foods are driving trips to the grocery store.

New research from Acosta shows that more shoppers are choosing at which stores to shop based on how much they like a retailer’s store brands. Fifty-three percent of shoppers said they shop retailers based on their private brands, an increase from 34 percent when Acosta asked the same question in 2011.

The statistic supports the notion that retailers are increasing their development of innovative, on-trend and exclusive products to differentiate from their competition. Interestingly, Acosta also reported in the study that 67 percent of shoppers visit more two to three retailers weekly for groceries, a statistic that reaffirms shoppers are going to retailers for certain products, including store brands.

Acosta, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based sales and marketing agency in the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) industry, also reports in its “Trip Drivers: Top Influencers Driving Shopper Traffic” that 76 percent of weekly shoppers visit more than one retailer each week for groceries and 67 percent of shoppers are visiting about two to three retailers weekly.

Acosta said that shoppers like to have options, whether in-store or online, when it comes to where they purchase their everyday groceries and supplies.

“Shoppers appreciate having options, which is why we are seeing a rise in hopping from store to store for weekly grocery trips,” said Colin Stewart, senior vice president at Acosta. “People are motivated by not only good deals and fresh products, but also by brand loyalty, which can impact their decisions to either keep returning to a particular store or hopping to another.”

The price factor
According to the report, price is an important factor as to why shoppers are traveling to different retailers within a given day or week to buy a product that is sold at multiple locations.

Sixty percent of shoppers reported shopping at more than one retailer because “some products are priced lower at certain retailers.” But only 45 percent of millennials cite price as a key driver of retail hopping. Acosta said millennials are more prone than the average shopper to vary their shopping based on where they are and specific brands.

Fresh foods continue to be a key driver for why many shoppers hop in the car and drive to the store regularly so they can purchase ingredients for that night’s dinner in-store, according to Acosta. Thirty-seven percent of shoppers make multiple trips weekly to ensure their food is fresh.

From old to young, each generational group surveyed agreed they make multiple trips or have multiple deliveries to receive the freshest food, including 65 percent of millennials, 47 percent of GenXers, 25 percent of baby boomers and 22 percent of silents.

Fruit and deli-prepared foods drive 31 percent and 29 percent of dollar growth, respectively. Thirty-seven percent of shoppers report they don’t have time to figure out what to have for dinner, saying it’s typically a last-minute decision.

The brand factor
Acosta also found that brands can help establish a loyal shopper following by delivering innovative products that align with consumer demand, and by consistently delivering quality, valued products to develop a level of trust.

Forty-one percent of shoppers reported shopping at more than one retailer because “some retailers carry better quality products in certain categories.”

Thirty-three percent of shoppers go to more than one retailer due to not finding all the products/brands they want at one store.

Brand preference drives traffic across all income brackets, including among 37 percent of shoppers with household incomes above $199,000, and 28 percent of shoppers with household incomes below $20,000.

Forty-three percent of shoppers surveyed agree that brands simplify the selection process when shopping at multiple grocery stores. 

“Personalization is a key strategy in connecting with shoppers and creating not only brand loyalty, but also store loyalty,” Stewart said. “No retailer can be everything to everyone, but by knowing what motivates your shoppers, whether it be price, fresh foods or brands, make a commitment to the satisfaction of your shoppers to keep your location in their shopping mix.”

“Trip Drivers: Top Influencers Driving Shopper Traffic” was compiled using research conducted by Acosta, as well as the company’s experience working with the nation’s largest CPG manufacturers and retailers. To access the full Hot Topic Report, visit