Categorized | Americas, Europe, Features

Gen Z Loves Store Brands: America’s Youngest Consumers Speak Out on Grocery Shopping, Stores and Brands

Posted on 22 December 2023

Nearly half of Gen Z grocery shoppers “always/frequently” choose a place to shop due to its store brands, according to new PLMA survey to be released at its 2023 U.S. Private Label Trade Show, Nov. 12-14 in Chicago.

“In short, we found that Gen Z loves store brands,” says Peggy Davies, PLMA President, in announcing the results of the report “In the survey, 67% of Gen Z said they are ‘extremely/ very’ aware of store brands; 63% said they buy store brands ‘always/ frequently;’ 55% are ‘extremely likely/ likely’ to experiment with store brands to find ‘best value;’ and perhaps most important of all, 49% said they ‘always/ frequently’ choose a place to shop due to its store brands.”

Gen Z, a demographic that is both attractive and challenging to marketers, is PLMA’s latest research target. Eighty million strong, they are the next great consumer bulge, destined to be as intensely studied as their generational predecessors, the Millennials.

Questions homed in on Gen Zers’ attitudes towards store brands, such as their awareness of the products, how often they buy them and how they compare them to national brands. Respondents were also asked to choose the best words to describe store brands and how the products reflect their own personal values and beliefs.

A detailed analysis of the survey’s findings will be presented at the PLMA Show by Dr. Sara Williamson, PhD, a well-known consumer researcher; Assistant Professor, Marketing, SUNY Old Westbury, and long-time faculty member of PLMA’s Executive Education Program. She will speak on Sunday afternoon, November 12, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, in Rosemont.

In an exclusive preview for Global Retail Brands, Dr. Williamson provided some early results that focus on the importance to Gen Z shoppers of store brand product “reliability.”

“Nearly half of those in the survey said they are purchasing store brands frequently or always during regular shopping. When asked to indicate the primary reason they choose a store brand over a national brand, aside from price, the most common answers were quality expectations and previous brand experience,” she said.

“Combine this with the fact that Gen Z store brand purchase frequency is most strongly driven by a perception that store brands are ‘reliable,’” she said. “Reliability perception is a stronger store brand purchase predictor than any other measure, including household income and monthly grocery spending.”

The impact of store brand reliability is a solid indicator that the manufacturer-retailer relationship is more important than ever, she said. “To succeed with Gen Z, retailers must establish a foundation of store brand suppliers who meet their customers’ quality expectations,” she added.

“This survey is a good result for all the players in the U.S. store brands industry,” said Dr. Williamson, ” as Gen Z represents retailers’ core customers over the next several decades.”

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