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UK shoppers keenest on own-brands

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Shoppers are happy to buy own-brand products if they like them

Shoppers are happy to buy own-brand products if they like them

Shoppers are happy to buy own-brand products if they like them

UK shoppers have sent sales of supermarket own-brand products soaring to around three times the global average, according to new figures.

Own-brand products accounted for 54% of UK supermarket grocery sales in the year ending June 21, data from analysts Nielsen shows.

Sales of premium own-brand products grew 5.2%, or nearly four times the rate of overall grocery sales.

According to the Nielsen Global Survey of Private Label, which polled more than 30,000 internet respondents in 60 countries, 71% of UK respondents said the quality of own-brand products had improved.

Six in 10 UK consumers said the quality of most own-label brands was as good as name brands, nearly twice as many as four years ago, while 42% said some own-brands are of higher quality than name brands.

Just 26% said own-brand products are not suitable when quality matters.

Some 37% of Britons regard own-brand products as being for people on tight budgets compared with 46% of Europeans, while 44% would be willing to pay the same or more for an own-brand if they like it - up from 28% four years ago.

Nielsen's UK head of retailer and business insight Mike Watkins said: "The perception of own-brand products has improved dramatically in recent years.

"As with manufacturer brands, retailers have, over time, successfully built equity into their own-brand products by investing in product innovation, further developing ranges and increasing marketing activity.

"Britons have a much greater appetite for own-brand groceries than shoppers in other markets around the world. While most grocery sales in the UK are own-brand, in North America it's less than 20%, in developing countries such as China, India and Brazil it's less than 5% and in the Middle East it's no more than 1%."

In the UK, the categories with the highest concentration of own-brand sales are fruit and vegetables (almost 100%), meat, fish and poultry (96%) and delicatessen (80%).

The lowest sales are in health and beauty (18%), confectionery (22%) and alcohol (25%).

Britons are most willing to pay higher than average prices for toothpaste (32%), shampoo (30%) and deodorant (27%).

Mr Watkins said: "Even in categories where own-brand products have their lowest share of sales, they still have a healthy and growing slice.

"The growth of 'premium' own-brand offerings, which tap into shoppers' increasing unwillingness to compromise over quality, means many own-brands are now a credible alternative for more and more items in today's shopping baskets."

PA Media