June 2, 2016

No Contest Between Grocery Name Brands and Generics? Not Quite, Consumers Reveal

Grocery Shopping

You’re strolling down the aisle of your go-to grocery store and stop at the packaged mac and cheese. Do you go with that ol’ faithful brand in the blue box? Or do you choose the no-name one with the weird, utilitarian lettering? In a value-conscious world, it’s hard to justify purchases based on labels alone. But is this still true when it comes to grocery products? In other words, without the flashy or familiar packaging, does the mac and cheese taste the same? Working with a grocery retailer who has their own store brand, we evaluated consumer perceptions around generic vs. branded products, and tested our hypotheses that

  1. generics are usually considered of lesser quality, and
  2. loyalty programs may entice consumers to purchase generics.

The retailer hoped our findings would help inform their new development strategy to improve the image of their generic label and encourage consumers to buy it; further, they wanted to uncover some implications for the grocery retail industry as a whole.

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