After trying a private brand for the first time, 6-in-10 U.S. shoppers said they would continue to buy the store brand option, according to research consultancy Magid and its May consumer study on purchase behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adding to that number, 77% said their experience with the private brand was better or the same as their preferred brand.
Magid surveyed 2,000 shoppers online over two waves: March 31-April 3 and May 1- 5. The shoppers were buying grocery or household goods. The study looked at how consumers rated specific retailers during the pandemic, shopping behaviors such as an increase in online shopping and how private brands benefitted during the pandemic.
For one, the top reason consumers bought a store brand product was because their preferred brand was out of stock — nearly half the shoppers surveyed cited this reason, whereas 35% said they switched to a private brand to save money.
Nevertheless, once the switch was made, shoppers showed the quality of the store brand products stood tall, with 60% saying they’re “likely to continue buying private label brands.” In a category breakdown, 86% of the shoppers surveyed said they were “very/somewhat likely” going to continue to buy private label in both the baby and beer categories (which may speak volumes about the coronavirus pandemic itself).
Other categories where private brands stood out as "very/somewhat likely" to continue buying was fresh veggies (86%), fresh fruit (84%), yogurt (83%), spices (82%), pasta (82%), frozen vegetables (81%) and frozen fruits (81%).
Similarly, 60% of shoppers surveyed said they will continue to shop at new retailers they were forced to try once the coronavirus threat subsides.
Looking directly at retailers and how they responded during COVID-19, around 45% of consumers felt they did “fairly well,” and 42% said “extremely well or very well.” Amazon, Costco and Walmart landed as the top three retailers rated by the respondents in terms of how well they've been handling the pandemic. Publix, Kroger, BJ’s Wholesale, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s followed behind.