Consumer Buying Criteria for National and Premium Own-label Food Brands
Salami, Risiqat Bolanle
Since its introduction, the premium own label range has become the fastest growing of the own label tiers available in supermarkets in spite of its high price. Accordingly, the question of who buys the premium own label and why attracted the interest of the researcher, especially when the growth of this new tier seem to be out-performing national brands. Using choice determinants common to earlier generations of own label brands, this study examined whether factors common to the first and third generations of own labels, are also influential to the purchase of the premium own label. The study also investigated the demographic characteristic of the premium own label shopper. With the premium own label range positioned to compete directly with national brands in terms of price and quality, it was also imperative that a comparative study be carried out on the factors influencing consumer purchase of premium own label and national brands. In order to test hypotheses developed for the study, five demographic variables - gender, age, educational qualification, income and family size - were employed. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to shoppers as they existed leading supermarkets in London and a total of 266 questionnaires were completed. The result indicated that gender, education and income could be used to profile the premium own label buyers, while household size gave inconclusive results. The typical premium own label consumers were found to be men. Other characteristics of the premium own label buyer included the fact that they were aged above 46 years, had university degrees or professional qualifications, and were not financially constrained. With regards to the choice criteria examined, only quality and taste were found to be common to the success of earlier generations of own label and the premium own label. It was also found that though taste, quality and brand name influenced the purchase of premium own labels and national brands, they were more important for national brands than premium own label brands. Finally, whilst the premium own label brand was purchased by specific demographic groups, national brand appealed to all consumers.
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