Four out of five British consumers ditch well-known brands for cheaper alternatives, as the cost of living crisis starts to bite – Retail Times


A new study from Forbes Advisor has revealed that four-in-five (82%) Brits have substituted their typical weekly grocery products for cheaper or supermarket own-brand alternatives. The price comparison and financial guidance platform surveyed 2,000 British adults to discover how supermarket shopping behaviour has changed over the last six months.

Of the four-in-five Brits switching their goods, more than half (58%) have changed the majority of their groceries to help their weekly budget stretch further. Meanwhile two in five (42%) have been more selective about which supermarket goods they are changing, switching only occasional products in an effort to save.

Forbes Advisor investigated this further, asking shoppers of the traditional supermarket chains which own-brand labels they have turned to in the last six months. Tesco came out on top with almost two-in-five (38%) of those substituting their shopping for more affordable goods, claiming to be frequent purchasers of Tesco’s own-brand groceries. This was followed by Sainsbury’s own-brand (33%) and Asda’s Just Essentials (28%). 

In further evidence of cutbacks, research found that more than three quarters (77%) of supermarket savers are reducing the frequency of supermarket premium brand purchases. Almost one third (31%) have reduced their consumption of Tesco Finest products in the last six months. Meanwhile 28% have purchased Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference less frequently,  and over one quarter (26%) are buying from Morrison’s The Best less often.

With cheaper and supermarket own-branded products growing in popularity, Forbes Advisor explored whether British consumers feel they are sacrificing quality.

Almost two-in-five shoppers (39%) claimed that cheaper or supermarket own-brand products are generally just as good as the previous go-to brands they switched away from. One in six even claimed that the quality of such affordable groceries are generally better. 

However, over a third (36%) said that, while the quality was worse, it was justified by the cheaper price tag. Just 5% of respondents said that the cheaper price tag was not worth their perceived reduction in quality.

Which products are people most loyal to?

The study further unveiled which of Britain’s biggest brands people are most reluctant to substitute from their weekly supermarket shop. 

Consumers are most loyal to the famous detergent brand, Fairy. One in five (20%) claim they would never consider swapping out the brand from their weekly shop.

Over all, house-proud Brits are least likely to swap out cleaning and detergent products, with Dettol (19%), Comfort (18%), Persil (16%) and Ariel (15%) following Fairy as the five brands Brits remain most loyal to.

Coca Cola is the beverage brand Brits are least likely to swap out. One in six (15%) would never sacrifice Coca Cola branded products from their weekly grocery shopping. This is followed by long-term competitor brand Pepsi (13%).

Cadbury’s beloved chocolate is the food brand Brit’s are most loyal to. One in eight (12%) claimed they would not swap this out of their weekly shop. This is followed by Heinz (11%) and Kelloggs (10%).

Brand Percentage of respondents who would not swap out their weekly grocery shop
Fairy 20%
Dettol 19%
Comfort 18%
Persil 16%
Ariel 15%
Coca Cola 15%
Andrex 15%
Lenor 15%
Pepsi Cola 13%
Plenty 13%
Kleenex 12%
Cadbury 12%
Yorkshire Tea 12%
Heinz 11%
Lucozade 10%
Kelloggs 10%
Ribena 10%
Schweppes 10%
Robinsons 10%
Tropicana 9%

Laura Howard, money expert at Forbes Advisor, says: “Food prices have been steadily climbing during the course of the year, due to issues ranging from distribution, right through to the impact of severe weather events across the world.

“According to a survey of 4,963 households carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) between 31 August and 11 September, a staggering 98% of households cited the ‘increased price of food shopping’ as the main cause of tighter budgets.

“Taking perhaps the most simple of ‘British price barometers’, a pint of milk cost 62p in August compared to 43p in August last year according to ONS figures – that’s a staggering rise of 44%. Costs of other staples such as eggs, bread and pasta have also rocketed.

“To add insult to injury, rising household costs elsewhere, such as energy bills and fuel, has meant that 17% of households surveyed by the ONS are left with ‘less money available’ to actually spend on food.

“As our latest research shows, the stark reality of these figures has meant that ‘brand loyalty’ is fast being shunted down the list of consumer priorities. We found that almost half (47%) of shoppers are buying cheaper branded products, while more than a third (34%) have turned to supermarket-own brands.

“It ties in with recent news that Aldi, which offers 90% own-brand products, has now overtaken Morrisons to become the fourth most popular supermarket chain in the UK.

“It’s interesting to see that the top five exceptions to this trend – where shoppers are preferring to stick with their preferred brands regardless – are confined to detergents and cleaning products.

“With winter on its way, now is the time to squeeze as much out of your supermarket spend as possible. This could mean collecting and spending loyalty points or buying discounted products nearing the end of their shelf life and chucking them in the freezer.

“Finally, don’t forget that many of the opinions we form around shopping are dictated by marketing. The truth is, 39% of shoppers reported no difference in the quality when switching to supermarket own-brand products.”





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A new study from Forbes Advisor has revealed that four-in-five (82%) Brits have substituted their typical weekly grocery products for cheaper or supermarket own-brand alternatives. The price comparison and financial guidance platform surveyed 2,000 British adults to discover how supermarket shopping behaviour has changed over the last six months. Of the four-in-five Brits switching their goods, more…