More Store Brands on the Shelf

Expanding house brand products

When Jen Brown goes shopping for her family of six, she often buys store brand products.

"It comes down to price a lot of times," said Brown.  

Jen was walking down the aisle of the new Aldi store in Vista. More than 90% of the products on the shelf are store brand items.  

"I think it comes down to what we consider value and do we think it's a good tasting item?" she said.

A lot has changed since the bland generic products on the shelf.  Today Costco's Kirkland brand and Trader Joe's house brand have gained wide acceptance.

San Diego State marketing professor Miro Copic says of all product lines in the supermarket, at least 20 percent are store brands.

"If you're a national manufacturer like General Mills or Kelloggs you should be really concerned," said Copic who adds that house brands are generally 10% to 15% cheaper than name brand.

Today, almost all major grocery stores carry house brand products.  Copic says sales are up because of improved quality and packaging and because shoppers are more willing to buy them.

"Consumers are great because they're willing to try everything at least once," said Copic, "if the product delivers they'll come back and try it again."

But there are some national brands that seem to have an edge on the store shelf, according to shoppers Reggie and Shavon Lowndes they are less willing to try generic brands on cookies, sodas and cereal.

"I prefer the real stuff," said Shavon.

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