A recent study conducted by packaging solutions company Amcor has revealed a significant consumer trend across Europe. The study, based on responses from over 3,000 grocery shoppers in six European countries, highlights the growing popularity of private labels, driven primarily by the rising cost of living.
The research indicates that private label products have become a mainstay in European households, with 70% of consumers actively incorporating these products into their grocery shopping routines.
As economic pressures mount, the survey found that a staggering 85% of respondents ranked “price” as their paramount consideration when choosing private label items.
This affordability-driven shift in buying habits shows no signs of slowing, with 50% of consumers indicating they will continue to favour private labels due to their high satisfaction with product quality.
Quality over quantity?
While price is a primary motivator, consumers are unwilling to compromise on quality. The research identified “better taste,” “local production,” and “cleaner ingredients” as the top factors influencing quality perceptions.
Over half of European consumers (51%) discern no significant quality difference between private-label and branded products.
Madalina Mitru, strategic marketing and value chain manager at Amcor, said: “While the research confirms that the price of private-label items impacts grocery shoppers’ purchasing decisions in the current economic climate, quality is still a crucial factor influencing consumers’ buying journey. Taste, quality and origin are all still important when consumers are making purchasing decisions.”
Sense and sustainability
Additionally, the research sheds light on evolving consumer attitudes toward sustainability, particularly those concerning retailers and brands.
42% of European consumers believe that retailers are making genuine strides in “local production” efforts. One-third of consumers perceive progress in “food waste reduction,” “less excessive packaging,” and “more sustainable packaging”.
However, room for improvement exists, with 35% of grocery shoppers indicating that retailers need to make more efforts to reduce excessive packaging and 33% expecting more sustainable packaging alternatives.
Packaged to perfection
Evidently, packaging also plays a pivotal role in consumer choices.
Claims such as “recyclable packaging,” “less plastic,” “less packaging,” and “paper packaging” emerged as top factors positively influencing the purchase of private label products. Notably, 28% of shoppers cited that more sustainable packaging swayed them towards choosing private label products.
Mitru concluded: “We see a growing shift towards eco-conscious grocery shopping for both private-label and branded products. Consumers increasingly expect their preferred products to demonstrate how they are improving sustainability. Retailers and brands can adopt more sustainable packaging to help retain customers and demonstrate their continued commitment to driving circularity and reducing their carbon footprint.”
As European consumers grapple with the financial impediments of increasing living costs, their growing preference for private label products underscores the pivotal roles of affordability, quality and sustainability in shaping their purchasing decisions.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023